Family growth isn’t just physical….my family is maturing too!

Next month my “hubband” Anthony and I will celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. Pretty great achievement by today’s standards, I suppose, and certainly 20 years of immense change for us personally. In 20 years time, we went from being 20 something newlyweds, career minded “dinks”, to parents of 3 kiddies in pretty short order. At times in those earlier years, I was so exhausted that I honestly didn’t know how I’d make it through a work day. I would set a goal to make it to my lunch break/nap! I thought motherhood couldn’t get any harder than those first years of diapers, night time routines, and countless hours of lost sleep. But I was wrong….parenthood doesn’t get easier. It just changes! It matures, just as Anthony, the kids, and I have matured and changed.
My oldest daughter, Lesley, is a high school freshman, and is taking her PE and Health courses this summer so she can take an elective she wants this fall. High school! She is the typical oldest kid….driven, motherly, and pretty bossy at times. To watch her already taking control of her academics and focus on the future she envisions for herself is pretty fun to watch! She has probably changed the most in recent months, as her teenage years (and teenage attitude) emerge and the little girl begins to take a backseat.
Middle kid Lauren is starting middle school this year. Wow…in my mind’s eye, she is my baby that has changed the least, as she still enjoys dolls and silly games and snuggling with her mommy at night. But I predict that by the first semester’s end at middle school, my little petite girl will start to feel the pressure to act older and more mature. How I will miss that little girl that wants me to look at books and fashion magazines together late at night, snuggled up! But I look forward to meeting the teenage girl that’s right around the corner. Sigh…..
Youngest kid Will (aka: Will-de-Beast) is heading for 4th grade with a failing grade in reading and language arts. Lord have mercy, I worry about him! The boy can read, but the boy doesn’t want to. Reading comprehension? That takes away time from kicking his soccer ball and playing his Minecraft game! Anthony and I are going to have to push him hard this year to catch up and….you guessed it….mature. Will has grown a few inches in the past year, and I hope his emotional growth and maturity keeps pace! I have a feeling that everything will turn out OK one of these days….but oh, what a journey it might be….
Now to describe my favorite person that has changed this year….the hubband himself, Anthony. After being our stay at home parent for many years, the time had come for him to head back to work and revive his career. The problem? His previous career as event coordinator had stalled with a layoff over seven years ago. His self esteem and confidence stalled too. Anthony had no idea what to do next or how to go about it. One night, after a particularly anxious “discussion” about finances and retirement and college funds and lack of milk in the fridge and no money in checking to get milk, Anthony and I sat in bed together and prayed out loud that an answer would come for him. One week later, a friend mentioned that our county school system was desperately looking for substitute teachers and would he PLEASE apply? BOOM! (Sometimes God answers prayers with a stick of dynamite!) Anthony fast tracked from a substitute all over town to getting a full time teaching job at OUR childrens’ high school in less than a year. In his field of expertise! Coincidence? Nah…don’t think so!  And today, he started his graduate work at the University of Georgia, to begin work to complete his teaching certification and Masters in Vocational Education. He is happy, fulfilled, and on his way to a career that he loves. Who’d thunk it?
As for me, I’m just trying to keep up with everybody else in the family. Maybe I’ll do a self-analysis in another blog. I’m just enjoying this period of change with my family as best as I can. It’s bittersweet! My babies are growing right in front of me, and my husband is enjoying a period of personal growth way overdue. Staying tuned for what’s next…..I look forward to our next act!

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