Parenthood is Full of Surprises

31 May

I’ve been to a few of these, including five of my own. All with mixed emotions of hurray and what-the-hell-is-waiting-for-me-now? But I’d never been to one as a parent.

It freaks you out. You completely change into a dress-wearing person. Something that my Chapstick type of personality isn’t too comfortable with, but you go with it. And then aside from transforming your wardrobe, your attitude also begins changing. You notice certain feelings taking over you as you see the school program with your kids name on it.

You really don’t want to turn into that crazed photo mom whose big head comes out in everyone’s picture. You really don’t want to be the kind of annoying person you write about. So you restrain yourself. You check your crazy at the door. After all it’s preschool. Get a grip. Coloring, cutting on the dotted line, and Llama, Llama Red Pajama. Nevertheless I found myself calling this a milestone moment in his mini life, sort of like walking and getting potty trained. In parent world this is big.

So I struggled with my crazy. I never had to do that before, usually I let my freak flag fly. But this was no freak flag, this was annoying crazy parent flag and you need to check that quick. You don’t want to regret anything later that day. You know yourself. So I sat there with mixed feelings about the whole thing. I mean I don’t know what the other Children of the Corn photo crazed parents were feeling at the time, probably no shame seeing how most of their heads with bad hair and ginormous cameras showed up in many of my shots. But all I know was that in the end I was proud to have not gone over the crazy parent cliff.

I was also surprised that I had become sappy. Not balling out soap-opera crying sappy, or the beautiful teary-eyed single drop creeping out of the corner sappy. Just the internal, pensive kind, with emotions swirling about which started when I saw him walk down the aisle in his miniature cap and gown. I thought Holy Crap! He’s going to be strolling down the aisle in another cap and gown in 2025 and then I’ll probably be a real sap. Dude it was like last week when I was cursing up a storm dropping the F-Bomb every five minutes during labor down at Catholic hospital down the street. Just last week, I thought.

But then he smiled at me and it was all good. I was still a little sappy, but I put it in perspective. I’d been mindfully present in the moments that mattered … the sand castle building, the Lego constructing, the pizza making, the stay-at-home movie night going, the family game night doing, the bike riding adventuring, the museum experiencing, the zoo exploring, the superhero pretending, and the night-time story reading. I’d been present the whole time.

Exhausted? Yes. In need of wine and chocolate during the quiet of the night. Definitely.

But also present, and not just going through the motions. There, I was there and enjoying it. So I decided to start mindfully enjoying the graduation, and stop thinking about the future, stop thinking sappy, and stop thinking about the crazy parents surrounding me.

Once I stopped, it ended up being a good day.

 

Walking towards the future ... and me behind him trying to catch up.

Walking towards the future … and me behind him trying to catch up.

 

The program that got me thinking.

The program that got me thinking all sappy.

 

The clear shot I tried to take of my son and his graduating class, but no luck with everyone else's camera never getting out of the shot. I didn't understand why they kept taking pictures constantly ... they were in the front row.

The clear shot I tried to take of my son and his graduating class, but no luck with everyone else’s camera in the way. I didn’t understand why they kept taking pictures constantly … they were in the front row. Front. All they needed to do was take one picture. I mean all I needed was one. No luck. I had better luck outside by the fountain.

 

I saw this outside while we were taking pictures and thought dude I should totally capture this. A minute later my one year old decided to explore it, and ended up breaking the fake rock. She broke it in front of a few other spectators, so all we could do was hide our holy-crap moment, pick up the pieces and walk away.

While we were enjoying the ability to take pictures without interference, I noticed this rock and thought dude I should totally capture this. What a great sign. A minute later my one year old decided to notice it too. She ended up breaking the fake rock in front of a few other spectators. So all we could do was hide our holy-crap moment, pick up the pieces of hope, and try to walk away unnoticed.

 

While trying to escape the scolding eyes of witnesses, my son decided he needed a cold beverage. I assured him we had plenty of juice boxes in the car and we needed to leave the cookie and punch reception before his sister got a hold of another decorative memento.

While trying to escape the scolding eyes of witnesses, my son decided he needed a cold beverage. I assured him we had plenty of juice boxes in the car and we needed to leave the cookie and punch reception before his sister got a hold of another decorative memento.

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6 Responses to “Parenthood is Full of Surprises”

  1. Marcia Clarke June 1, 2013 at 9:48 AM #

    Aah… life’s Kodak’s moments, they come and go so fast; enjoy each one and allow yourself to get sappy without shame. Before you know it your children become adults and will be making you a grandma; and you get to experience the whole thing it all over again. I am there now and still wonder at how soon we got here. LOL

    Congratulations chica!

  2. marydpierce June 1, 2013 at 3:03 PM #

    You done good. I don’t want to scare you, but holy crap, it does go by fast. My one and only kid graduated college last May. (I didn’t wear a dress.) Since I homeschooled the boy his entire life before college, it was the only graduation I had to attend.

    I wouldn’t worry about the “Hope” — if a one-year-old could break it, it was pretty damn flimsy to begin with!

  3. Cayman Thorn June 1, 2013 at 5:26 PM #

    That is such a great shot of the little guy walking into his big future, replete in cap and gown and attitude. My little guy isn’t such a little guy any more. His High School graduation is on Wednesday and my thoughts still haven’t caught up with the rest of me yet. The ladies who commented are right…it goes by so quickly. Enjoy the ride, mama.

  4. lameadventures June 2, 2013 at 11:30 PM #

    Awwwwwwwwww, you’re such a proud mama when you’re not horrified over your wee one shattering the fake rock. I like what looks like the Little Guat Strut in his cap and gown. I hope he maintains his confidence for the long haul. So, what’s next on the educational road map – first grade come fall?

  5. TBM June 3, 2013 at 2:45 AM #

    A cap and gown! Man I was ripped off–oh wait, I didn’t go to pre-school. If I had known, I would have. Congrats. He looks so adorable.

  6. adinparadise June 5, 2013 at 7:03 AM #

    Such a cute post, TG. Yes the Hope sign is/was great. I can just imagine your chagrin. 😀

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