Parenting is Hard, You Guys.

Before I was a parent, I never understood that you could have a job that was simultaneously the most difficult and most rewarding thing you could ever experience.  But, it truly is.

I had my oldest son when I was 24-years-old.  I occasionally envy my friends who waited until 35 to have their first.  Age 24 was long before I had any clue what I was doing with my life let alone what to do with someone else’s.  Having Tyler gave me direction.  It made me understand that there was more to life than partying and making friends and buying things.  My unexpected pregnancy made me grow up in a really real way and I wouldn’t change a single thing about it.

In just a few days, he starts high school.  It’s a transition in my life as a parent that I wasn’t expecting to be quite so emotional.  I’ve cried at least a dozen times this week.  Registration, tears.  Orientation, tears.  Picking up books, tears.  Paying fees, tears.  School supply shopping, tears.  The people at Target give you weird looks when you tear up while buying pencils, FYI.

Tyler and I have been through so many things together.  Two miserable break ups.  The death of my Father.  The loss of his great grandparents.  Multiple surgeries.  Four moves.  Three jobs.  The birth of his brother and sister.  A new marriage.  Through all of the changes, this kid has been my constant when everyone else disappeared.  I can’t believe he’s 14.

I feel like we’ve grown up together.  In my head, I’m maybe 25…26 max.  I’m certainly not a 39-year-old wife and mother of 3 with an important job and a very real mortgage and student loan payments and stretch marks.  I’m just not.  So, it’s not possible to the me that exists in my own head that my kid is going to start driving soon.

The past fourteen years have gone by in a blink.  I can still recall the way his little head smelled when he was a baby.  The way he would snuggle on my chest after I’d had a long day of work.  I remember his first tooth, his first steps, and his first sentence (It was “Oh, son of a bitch”, by the way.).  Now, he spends his days taking selfies in the bathroom mirror and flirting with girls who wear shorts that resemble underwear.  When.  Did.  This.  Happen?

The first day of Kindergarten seems like yesterday.  To think that he will be an adult in four years is mind boggling.  It is too soon and I’m not ready.  Good God, y’all.  If I can’t handle high school, what the hell am I going to do when he goes off to college.  My husband is going to have to talk me down and keep me from locking him in the basement forever.

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