It’s that time of year again, graduation season. I don’t have a graduation in my house this year, but several of my friends’ children are about to graduate from either high school or college. I admit, I’m relieved I’m not expected to attend any of the ceremonies this year. Because honestly, unless one of the speakers includes a couple of my speech suggestions from 2017 (click here to check them out https://wordpress.com/posts/shannonrbrown.com?s=graduation), I would rather nap at home.
Whether I have a graduate in my own home or not, this season is full of reminders that time passes quickly. I remember when my kids were babies being approached by many a middle-aged woman imploring me to make the most of my time with my kids because, “just like that” they’d be all grown up. I usually smiled politely and returned to trying to keep my eldest from hiding things in the shopping cart, and my youngest from running off to meet the next stranger that glanced in his direction, thinking to myself, “Is she nuts? I can’t wait until they can wipe their own fannies.” Now, three graduations (2 high school, 1 college) later, I’ve become the crazy lady in the grocery store admonishing young mothers to enjoy their kids. I take their side eye with a grain of salt secure in the knowledge, “just like that,” they’ll understand that I’m right. (And not long after that they’ll be the lady in the grocery store.)
While it’s definitely good to embrace where you are in life and make the most of every moment with the people you love, it’s also very easy to get wrapped up in longing for things you lost “just like that.” I truly believe that every cloud has a silver lining, and that with each thing we lose, we gain another. To encourage myself, and hopefully at least one other person, I present to you a list of a few things that you gain, “just like that,” as your kids grow up.
Just Like That:
- You don’t have to change dirty diapers.
- You don’t have to spend three hours looking for a lost sippy cup full of milk.
- You get to use the bathroom without little eyes peeping through the keyhole or fingers wiggling at you from the bottom of the bathroom door.
- You get to eat a hot meal.
- You don’t have to constantly remind people not to pick their noses in public.
- You don’t have to sign anymore folders, try to relearn math, or run up to a school to pick up a vomiting kid.
- You don’t have to do anyone’s dishes but your own, unless you’re married…
- You only have to go to the animated movies YOU want to see.
- You don’t have to try not to gag when eating a food you hate in your quest to raise healthy eaters.
- You can eat cake for breakfast in plain sight, no hiding in the pantry required.
- You learn that it’s okay to be the square peg in a round peg world.
- You get to constantly remind your husband that if he’s going to walk around the house naked, he needs to at least close the blinds. (Or is that just me?)
There are so many benefits we experience with each trip around the sun we’re gifted with. I hope that we can all learn to look back fondly on the past, but spend more time looking forward to the adventures that await us. Master this attitude, and “just like that,” life gets a lot more gooder.