I am a bit overwhelmed with feelings and emotions right now.
Sixteen and a half years ago I met the wonderful man who was to become my husband. At the time, Brian was a widower with four young children. When I married him, I got not only a husband, but a family. The kids were 7, 5, 4 and 18 months when we came into each others lives. Today they are 23, 22, 20 and 18 years.
Tomorrow we are driving to the University of Michigan to drop off the “baby” who will be a Freshman with the class of 2018.
As we prepare to take Elizabeth to college, I am experiencing so many thoughts and feelings. How is it possible that this era is coming to a close? That the bulk of parenting the four children that I took on all those years ago is now behind me?
A couple of years after we got married, we added a fifth child to our brood. So we are not facing an empty nest right now. Sydney will be starting 7th grade, which leaves us with quite a few years before our house is child free (thank goodness).
But the original four. The ones who first introduced me to the joy and agony of parenting. All out of the house. Two in college, two graduated and living in the real world (and supporting themselves!!).
I can’t say that I knew what I was getting into when I adopted four children in one fell swoop. Going from single in the city, to wife and mother of four was quite the lifestyle change. Ha–that might be the understatement of the century.
Insta family has gone pretty much as you would expect. We have had highs and lows. Joys and disappointments. We have had lots to celebrate and plenty that we don’t brag about. We have also had thousands of the ordinary, predictable days that make up life. We are a family and that is how families roll.
And do you know what? I wouldn’t change any of it. Not one single thing. The good and the bad alike are what make us the special, quirky family that we are.
Very often when I tell people our story, they say how lucky the kids are to have me. I think they have it backwards. I am the lucky one. To have had the joy and honor to be called mom by these four amazingly bright, articulate and unique individuals has been and continues to be the greatest gift of my life.
Please forgive my little reverie here today. I don’t usually look back. Life is now. But today, on the eve of Elizabeth’s foray into the collegiate world–a little reminiscing seemed in order.
Next week is Happy New (School) Year when we all get back to routine and schedules. I look forward to updating you on our temporary living conditions, our construction project and the group programs that I am developing just for you.
Please enjoy summers’ last hurrah and think of me as I hug my very special girl goodbye.