My my, how perspectives change with age.
I remember dropping off my first born to preschool when he was the ripe old age of 3 and I was only 27. I distinctly recall seeing a mom in active wear with her 3 year old son that looked much older than me. We later became friends, and I learned she was *gulp* in her 40s!
A year later, I was still one of the younger moms dropping off my second child to preschool. Two years later, I said goodbye to child three, and a year after that, child number four began. There I was, 30 years old with four young kids, all in school.
By the time the next one went to preschool, I was 35, child number six went to school when I was 38, and now our last baby will be attending preschool next week with a mother who is 40.
How did I get here so quickly?
On the one hand, it makes sense. I have a junior and freshman in high school. I have been married for 17 years. I have been working in my field for 19 years. You don't get to those places without aging, yet it still seems to have a way of sneaking up on you. Like, didn't I JUST start this job? Weren't we JUST dating? Didn't I JUST go to the Ob/Gyn (ummm nope, not since the last baby!)?
Where did the years go?
They went into buying a house and turning it into a home.
They went into being educated in school and learning even more out in the real world.
They went into long conversations with people I love.
They went into hoping, and dreaming, and scrimping, and saving to build a life.
They went into long days and short years of child rearing.
They went into breastfeeding, and diaper changing, and baby soothing.
They went into caring for sick family members.
They went into dog training, and toilet cleaning, and sheet changing.
They went into rides all over creation for sports and clubs.
They went into date nights and nightly walks without little ears around.
They went into family trips, and visits to see relatives near and far.
They went into hugs and kisses and shoulders to cry on when things don't work out.
They went into celebration desserts, and home cooked meals, and favorite snacks.
They went into family rosaries, and Adoration hours, and serving at Mass, and frequent Confessions.
They went into long runs, and cheering at games, and piano recitals.
The years went into making a LIFE.
They went into a life filled with love, thank you God.
All of these years have certainly wrinkled my face, greyed my hair, thickened my waist, and made me recognizable as the "old mother at preschool drop off". But they have also made me a stronger, wiser, more joyful mother to this seventh little preschooler than I was to the first. I have seen the speedy passage of time and I am able to cherish the little moments that used to frustrate me. Being a young mom has it's perks too, don't get me wrong! Energy being the most noticeable! But there is nothing wrong with accepting and embracing the status of older mom as well. I think my littlest guy is pretty lucky to have a mom who has hopefully made most of her parenting mistakes on the older kids and knows when to let go and relax more. He's certainly the life of the party, and I believe that's because he has partied all his life! There's always a reason to celebrate around our house, and he gets to partake in everything and be loved by us all, but especially by his old mom.