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Monday, May 25, 2009

Changing of the Guard - Tri-Graduates

It began over 17 years ago, when the new guard took hold and my life was changed for the better. In six years I had three daughters, a miscarriage in-between my second and third. At the time, we didn't think about the spacing once they started school, but fast forward to the present and we will have three graduations in the span of 24 hours.

My 17-year old will graduate from high school, my 14-year old from middle school, and my 11-year old from elementary school. What a major milestone this year is for each of them. And this is one HUGE leap for me. It marks the beginning of the empty nest, when one will soon fly away to college and live in a dorm, one bedroom becomes quieter, for a while anyway. It doesn't quite become a spare room, not until another 4 or 5 years from now.

And why does it seem like time flies so swiftly? During what I call "Baby Boot Camp", those first two months at home with a new born, those days seemed to go on forever because of lack of sleep and being in completely new territory. But now I see how precious and fleeting those moments were. How I treasure the smell of a newborn, cradling their tiny body in the crook of one arm. That baby's arm is now longer and leaner than mine. My oldest used to be this tiny little girl who was always the shortest in every line at school. Amazingly, she is now taller than me and thinks she's smarter than me! My middle daughter was always the one I worried about because she seemed shy and tentative. I nearly cried on that first day of kindergarten, seeing how she was holding back her tears when we left. But she surprised us all by announcing she made a new friend on her first day and ever since she's been able to warm people over and make lots of friends because of her humor and easy-going nature. And my youngest, she's what we've tagged our miracle baby. I had a difficult labor with my second, and the doctor didn't know if we should go for a third. But we did, and within 8 weeks of being pregnant I suffered a miscarriage. That made me realize how much I did want another baby, and three months after miscarrying, we were pregnant with our miracle girl. She's turned out to be such a delight, our ray of sun. And she made our family complete.

To look back is too emotional at times. I'm so proud of how they have turned out. But each journey was not without some difficult moments. Which makes the present even more gratifying.

In a few weeks, my babies will begin a new journey - their friends are already more influential in many ways than we are as parents now. But my children know we'll always be here for them. Because we never graduate as parents, we only hope we become wiser.

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