As a mom, I’ve always wished a postcard would come in the mail informing me that I was about to experience some daily task with my kids for the last time.

It would have been nice to know that the fall day in 1999, as I was rushing to get us out the door for a playdate but quickly decided to feed my crying baby at the last minute before we left, would be the last time I ever nursed him. He only wanted a bottle after that.

Or that the Christmas of 2013 would be the last time my American Girl Doll obsessed daughter would ever want one again.

Or that on a spring day in 2016, when my youngest son and I had a little time on our hands and decided to stop at the playground, would be the very last time I ever had a kid who wanted to go down a slide or swing on a swing.

These seemingly little things that make up the hours of my crazy, busy mom life don’t seem even remotely monumental . . . until they are gone.

This morning, as I was running around like a chicken without her head, my youngest child informed me that he only had 38 more months of high school left.

“What?” I said, as I quickly went for my coffee as he put on his sweatshirt and backpack.

“I have only 38 more months of high school.”

“OK, it’s 6:30 in the morning. I can’t deal with this right now. “

“Peter, is it really only 38 more months?”

“Yes.”

A sadness came over me at the same time my mom-brain was busy ticking off my daily to-do list and thinking that his bus really does pick him up ridiculously early for a school day that doesn’t start til 7:55.

Thirty-eight months? Is that really it? Thirty-eight months and then my last child will be done with high school?

Peter started chatting away about a movie we just saw and a test he had coming up.

“I’m going to wait for the bus outside.”

“No, honey. It’s pitch black outside. Stay in the house until you see the bus.”

He gave me a look I’ve seen many times from his older brother and sister that he just recently perfected. The look that says, You must be joking, Mother.

“Hey, I worry about you. Let me do that. You’re my last baby.”

“OK, Mom,” he said, flashing me a smile that makes me want to grab him and never let go. But of course I don’t.

With that we see the light of the bus turning the corner, and he bounds out the door.

“Be careful. It’s still dark. Don’t run,” I yell.

“Yes, Mom.”

The bus stops.

I call out the door, “Have a great day. I love you.”

“I love you too, Mom,” he calls back.

The bus door opens and he’s off.

As I close the door, it occurs to me, my kid just gave me one of those postcards I’ve always wished for.

I have 38 more months until he’s done with high school.

It’s not nearly enough.

This post originally appeared on My Dishwasher’s Possessed by Kathy Radigan

 

You may also like:

Dear Teenagers, Be Patient While I Let Go

May We Give Our Kids a Foundation of Love, Then Watch Them Soar

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Kathy Radigan

Kathy Radigan is a writer, blogger, mom to three and wife to one. She is the creator of the blog, My Dishwasher's Possessed! Kathy has had viral pieces in HuffPost and Scary Mommy and her work has been featured in, Yahoo, Grown and Flown, TODAY Parents, and Romper, as well as many other online publications. She was a cast member in the NYC 2017 cast of LTYM and was a producer and cast member of, Every Family’s Got One, in Huntington NY, October, 2018. You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Spanking Made Us Parents We Didn’t Want To Be

In: Faith, Motherhood
Silhouette of mother pointing finger at child

Fourteen years ago when my husband and I were preparing for our first child, we felt we already had several tools in our toolbox. Both of us worked with children and youth, and we felt prepared for parenting. We decided early on that we would never spank unless we were completely out of options.  As our bright, sweet, bubbly firstborn entered the terrible fours (yes, he was a bit delayed in his toddler rebellion), we were surrounded by a community of people who believed in “controlled spanking” with hugs and grace afterward.  RELATED: These 6 Words Transformed Discipline in Our...

Keep Reading

Let Your Kids See Your Feelings Too

In: Motherhood
Mother and daughter hugging on couch

I’m a mom to two exceptional kids–one with big emotions and one with a big heart. What that looks like in our house is an older child who is prone to outbursts and a younger child who’s always trying to help him through them. As we witness our younger son become more empathetic in response to his brother’s tantrums, we find ourselves constantly worrying that he is feeling overshadowed, relentlessly reassuring him there’s enough room for his feelings too. RELATED: Mothering a Child With Big Emotions is Heavy And what I’ve come to realize is that one of the best...

Keep Reading

Once Upon a Time You Got All of Me

In: Marriage, Motherhood
Husband and wife on wedding day, color photo

First there was us, and now it’s them. We have four little hands that need us, and it’s so hard to get lost in parenthood and forget that at once upon a time it was me and you. I promise you, it won’t always be like this. It won’t always be this hard. I remember when we would go for leisurely walks and long Sunday brunches. Now it takes us an hour to leave the house for a 15-minute walk. I want so badly to spend hours lying in bed, talking like we used to, but now I’m so tired...

Keep Reading

I Was Raised by an Easter-Only Mom and I Want More for My Kids

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother and daughter read Bible

Motherhood is not for the faint-hearted, and women tend to look to their upbringing for guidance. We may not even realize we’re doing it! But being a godly mother is even more difficult when you weren’t raised by one. The questions are endless: How do I model forgiveness? How do I set the right priorities for my household? How do I explain baptism to my 6-year-old? Is it okay to have undiscipled friends around my children? Do we have to pray over every meal? Is the occasional swear word acceptable?  These questions may be less intimidating if you were fortunate enough...

Keep Reading

We’ll Get Through Daddy’s Deployment Together

In: Living, Motherhood
Mother, father, daughter selfie, color photo

“I didn’t think we did that anymore.” I wish I could attribute that to one person, but I’ve heard it from multiple people when I’ve mentioned that my pilot-soldier National Guard husband is deploying overseas. Yes, we still do that. Men and women still suit up every day to carry out various missions, both valuable and confusing, around the country and the world. And for the whole of 2023 that includes my husband. My partner, my co-adventurer. The one who will use our flight and hotel benefits from his day job to visit Hawaii for three days on a pre-deployment...

Keep Reading

Our College Visit Disaster: What You Should Learn from My Mistakes

In: Grown Children, Motherhood, Teen
Mom and teen daughter selfie, color photo

With a song in my heart, I got in the car to drive my daughter to our first college visit.  We drove two hours to a school nestled in the mountains. It was a state school, not too big, not too small.  She knew plenty of alumni from her high school who attended there, and I was convinced it was going to be the perfect fit. We pulled up to the student center, and I jumped out of the car. I glanced around for her and realized she was still sitting in the car.  “Mom, I’m not getting out. I ...

Keep Reading

I Was Never Good Enough for My Mother, So I’m Done Trying

In: Living, Motherhood
Woman walking away

I’m on a path in life that is so different from what I ever imagined growing up. It’s a path I’m not even sure I consciously choose. And it’s a path that exhausts me. I grew up with a narcissistic mother, and I was the scapegoat. No matter how I tried, I could never gain my mother’s love. It was love that was tainted with conditions and taken away at any time—and that was often. And thus, I tried harder. Best grades, best behavior, cleanest room. It never worked. I was too fat. My thighs were huge—make sure they were...

Keep Reading

I Am an Immigrant Mom

In: Living, Motherhood
Mother and toddler in sunshine

I have many moments of What did I get myself into? during the day, especially when one of my kids is screaming at the top of his lungs and the other is having a make-believe experiment in the kitchen. We’ve heard countless times that raising kids is hard, but raising kids as a first-generation immigrant is harder. Obviously, there is no competition for who has more struggles or whose life is harder because child rearing is hard. Period. But this piece is specifically aimed at shedding some light on the unsung heroes, our so-called, first-gen immigrants raising kids in a...

Keep Reading

Even When it Feels Like I Can’t, I Keep Going

In: Faith, Motherhood
Tired mom holding toddler

When I feel like I can’t do one more thing. When I am overwhelmed and touched out and lost in the logistics of it all. When my physical and mental energy are depleted. When the length of my to-do list needs more hours than I have. When I am so bone tired that I’m sure I just can’t go on. And there is still more to do. And the only choice is to keep going– I keep going. I dig a little deeper and find strength I didn’t know I had. RELATED: Check on Your “Strong” Friend, She’s Faking it...

Keep Reading

What Happens When She Wants Another Baby and He Does Not?

In: Faith, Marriage, Motherhood
Husband and wife, pregnancy photo, color photo

I am on my knees, folded over, with my head resting on the carpet. I am in my closet, which doesn’t see much of the vacuum, and it is the only place I can find to sob out of sight. I feel hollowed out and defeated as if I have run a marathon and was cut short at the finish line. I cry out in prayer, pleading with God to soften the heart of my husband. I desperately want another child, and he desperately does not. I take a deep breath and dry my eyes because my 4-year-old outside the...

Keep Reading