This weekend I was in Boston for work. Since Mason is by far the best date ever, I took him with me. That and I am nursing him still so it's not like I could leave him for four days.
The weekend was nearly all work but there were a few moments away from the hustle and bustle.
Early Sunday morning I met Derek's cousin Peggy, her husband Duane and their brilliant son Will for breakfast. I think I only spoke five words for the first five minutes in the restaurant because I was so incredibly tired. Work was stressful and Mason had gotten up twice during the night. It took two cups of coffee before I was even a semblance of my chatty self.
We had such a delightful time catching up over breakfast. Peggy held Mason across the table from me and as he systematically threw everything onto the floor, I offered to take him back. I looked under the table and the chunks of bread were piling up on the floor. I sighed as I thought about cleaning up under yet another table. She chided me slightly and said she was having a ball. I guess when your youngest is 17, you once again find baby antics at public restaurants to be cute.
We laughed and talked and Peggy told stories about her boys growing up. She told me about trips they took hiking and camping. I told her all my obsessions with safety and danger, which seem to always shock everyone. I asked her if parenting teenagers was really ten times more difficult that parenting preschoolers. Peggy reminded me that every stage of mothering has its unique difficulties and stresses, but she also reminded me that each stage has its unique joys and happy moments.
It made me laugh. It doesn't matter where you are in your parenting, it always seems that people are quick to tell you how easy you have it if they are struggling with children at some other age or stage. It was nice to be reminded that you are where you are and now is the time to enjoy these moments. It was nice to hear stories from someone who had grown up with my husband and who could remind me that the apple does not fall far from the tree when it comes to my children being adventurous.
As I sat across from a very grown up college freshman Will, I saw for the first time in my five years as a mother that it might just be okay. I realized that while every day today seems like a constant balance between taming the wild beasts and keeping them from jumping too high or too far or frankly, too loudly, there are so many firsts that are happening now that bring me such joy and happiness. I realized that no two days are the same. Isn't that what keeps parenting interesting?