On July 31, 1996 when my youngest child was born I remember feeling so incredibly overwhelmed. Don’t get me wrong. I was overjoyed when they placed my precious Connor Frank Streeter in my arms but I was also so scared. In addition to Connor we had three additional children at home. Liberty was 8 1/2, Reuben was 5 1/2 and Kaylee was 2 1/2 and now we had our miracle baby Connor. In addition to our four young children Dave and I both worked full time in order to make ends meet. For about six months after Connor was born I worked days teaching high school and Dave worked evenings at the local hospital to minimize our daycare expenses. It was a busy and stressful time for us. Our biggest source of worry was providing for our children. We worked so hard to they could have extras like swimming lessons, dance lessons, new clothes. We also worked very hard to make sure that they all knew how much they are loved and wanted. During those early days I remember thinking ahead to a time far far away when we would be empty nesters. To be perfectly honest that was a concept I could not even grasp.
As as time went on and Libby entered middle school I remember thinking how busy our life had become. I spent most of my after work time driving kids all over town for after school activities. I also spent much time attending various school functions at the middle school, grade school and Connor’s preschool. At that time I was still stuck in what is and could not even comprehend what would be in just a few short years. Fast forward to Reuben’s high school graduation in 2009. That is when it hit me square between the eyes that it would not be much longer before all my children were out of school. Then in 2012 when Kaylee graduated I went into full fledged panic mode. What would I do? I loved my noisy house. I loved the crazy schedules. It is all I knew. Last year when Reuben and Kaylee left for school I struggled. It was so quiet. It was lonely. It was so hard. I have adjusted somewhat but now in a few short months Connor will be graduating. That means Dave and I will be really on our own. Gulp………. The thought of not having at least one kid home scares me to death. I am a mommy first and foremost. Will my kids still need me? Will they still look to me for advice? So many questions swirl in my head.
When Connor was born I remember telling my friend PatTy Harmon that Connor would leave home with my footprint on his rear end. Man how I am eating those words now.
For you young mothers who may be reading this the best piece of advice I can give you is to cherish every moment. Even in the difficult times enjoy every single stage of your child’s life. They grow up way too fast and in the blink of an eye they will be grown and you will wonder how in the world that happened so fast.