I heard a good quote today:
“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss
You see, for me – it happened. When my kids were little and I decided I wanted to homeschool them (much to my husband’s chagrin at the time) I knew what I was taking on. I mean, I didn’t know how hard it would be, but I knew I was going to be with them and be there for everything. All of it.
I remember when my girls were about 4 or 5 and Rocky was 10 and Frank said he was sad that they were growing up so quickly. He had spent two of their toddler years doing extensive traveling with his job and he did miss a lot. He bemoaned what he’d missed and wished out loud that we could have those years back again. At the time, I was weary and didn’t want to repeat even one day with my kids.
Not that I didn’t love them and love spending my days with them. I did! But I felt full. I was enjoying every minute and I felt then that when it was time for them to grow up and go away, I’d be ready. I wasn’t going to be one of those parents who say, “Gee, I wish I’d spent more time with them.” I SPENT THE TIME. Sometimes the time with them made me crazy, but I SPENT THE TIME.
And now, here I am with two already out of the nest and one who will be gone this time next year. Amusingly, one of my only regrets (ok, one of my only Homeschooling regrets) is that I didn’t put them in school sooner. Yes, really. They were ready and I was burnt out and the last two years were simply abrasive for us all. I remember saying that I’d be a better mom to them if they were in school. And I was right. (I should add here that as much as my husband did not want me to homeschool them back in the day, he was equally adamant about NOT putting them in school when I did). He lost out both times. Not that I didn’t seriously consider his opinion. I considered it for two years. Two abrasive years. And then I threw them to the dogs. I mean, put them in public school.
And I still spent tons of time with them. I had the luxury of just working part time, so I got to spend time with them in the evenings, helping with homework, listening to stories… and making sure I debunked much of the stuff the public school was telling them – both in the classroom and out. I savored those times and I’m so grateful for them.
People keep asking me how I’m going to react and what’s going to become of me when little Daisy leaves the nest next year. Even little Daisy tenderly asked me last week, “Mama, do you think you’ll be ok when I go away to college?” She’s a sweetheart and it brought a tear to my eye. BUT. Yes, I will be ok. I will miss her, but this is what we’ve been working toward since she first came to be.
I will cry when she goes because I’m a mom and I’m emotional and let’s face it – I WILL miss her. But I won’t be crying because it’s over, I’ll be smiling through my tears because it happened. And because it’s also just beginning… for us all.
Credit for finding the Dr. Seuss quote goes to http://twitter.com/#!/gypsynester.