You are the people I learned to be a mom alongside. Some of you already had some experience at the gig, but most of you were fumbling through the on-the-job training right there with me. We have talked, cried, vented, laughed, hugged, texted, meme-d, and queso & margarita-ed our way through every stage of growing limbs and developing brains and roller-coaster emotions. We were the ever-reliable barometers for each other: affirming the normality of normal things that didn’t always feel normal and nudging the gut concerns when they needed to be. We have each faced challenges we could have never expected and at different times have had to fight for our kids harder than we should have had to…because they endured something they shouldn’t have had to. But here we are. And here they are. These kids who aren’t really kids anymore.
In a very, very short time, these not-so-kid kids will be off doing exactly what we have been building them to do for the past 18 years. Doing exactly what was the end goal of every big and little thing we’ve talked, cried, vented, laughed, hugged, texted, meme-d, and queso & margarita-ed our way though with each other. They are going to leave.
This is the grand letting go gesture, the one that a lifetime of little letting go’s has culminated in. And I’ve been doing a pretty good job stuffing down all the feelings that come along with it. But despite my best efforts, they are beginning to surface. Like the drip that turns into the trickle that turns into the flood. And before I am completely awash with emotion, before you wonder if this is coming simply from unchecked sentimentality without any objective or rational thought, I want to say something to you, the people I learned to be a mom alongside. And that is this:
I am so damn proud of these kids of ours.
Like, I am beaming with a light that could turn Moses’s hair gray. I witnessed what it took for each of them to get to where they are now. I know the places where their hearts put down roots when they were so little, and I see now how big those hearts have grown. I believe so much in their futures because of the stories their pasts tell. And just to be clear, I’d cut a b*tch for any one of them.
I’m also so proud of you, of us. I know a huge reason I feel this way about our kids is because we did the hard work too, and we did it well. Not perfectly, but well. And I want to say thank you. Any successes I have had as a parent I share in part with you. This has been the most important group project I have ever been a part of, and I feel immensely lucky to be partnered with you. Not one slacker among us.
To the people I learned to be mom alongside…these next few months will be filled with life’s most beautiful mixed cocktail, the one that swirls together anxiety and excitement, longing and fulfillment, uncertainty and peace, sadness and joy. It’s the most beautiful because it means we have both something to miss and something to look forward to.
In short, it means we’ve done it right.
We are about to unleash the most beautiful bunch of humans into their next chapter. And I feel happy the rest of the world will get to share them with us.
Good job, my people. Let’s celebrate with queso and margaritas.
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