It's happened again. Another baby has been born, and I'm jealous. Over the past few years, as I have reconnected with high school classmates, or caught up on their lives by reading their Facebook posts, I am amazed that some of my classmates are still having babies, or are having their first babies.
Most of these new mothers or young mothers have established careers, have completed many more years of schooling than I, or have been married less time than me. But they are making me feel old. I have been a mother for 20 years and have almost been a mother for more years than I have not. My baby is almost 10 years old, and when I see the pictures of the new babies, I can almost smell them and feel them snuggling in my arms and wrapping their tiny fingers around my one finger.
These moms are women who, I am almost positive, did not torture their guidance counselor the way I did when sitting in his office discussing their post-high school dreams. When my counselor kept handing me brochures for Ivy League schools that cost a fortune but that I "should be considering with my great grades", I pushed them aside. When asked whether I wanted to be a doctor, a lawyer, a businesswoman, I always responded that I wanted to be a wife and a mother but that in the meantime until I reached that goal, I might want to be a teacher, the counselor would shake his head. I was sure he was thinking "What a waste."
Well, Mr. Daly, it wasn't a waste. I love being a wife and a mother, and although I never became a teacher, I teach my children things every chance I get. And even though it took me years to get my Associates Degree, I did it when it didn't interfere with my first priority of being a mother. And I'm proud...proud of my 3 children, proud of the time when I was a single mother on my own, and the job I did with my babies.
And even though the practical side of me is glad that I can say "Come on, kids, time to go", and they put on their own shoes, their own jackets, walk to the car, and put on their own seatbelts, there will always be the other side of me that wouldn't mind packing the formula, the bottles, the extra clothing, the diapers, the wipes, the back-up pacifier, the burp cloths, putting the infant carrier on my arm and trying to juggle the carrier, the overstuffed diaper bag and the pocket book through the doorway while still being able to close the door behind me without dropping everything and then loading my precious newborn cargo into the car.
So, to my high school classmates in their new careers as mothers: enjoy every second, every minute because it all goes by so fast, leaving behind precious memories and making way for new ones with your "grown-up" babies. And please keep posting those pictures!