This is post is dedicated to our great family friends, you know who you are.
Today was one of those days that I swore would never happen. I swore I would never be one of “those Moms” that embarrassed her children with sobbing tears over every milestone of her kids’ lives.
I found out today, I cannot help it. It is what it is. I AM going to be one of “those Moms” and get emotional, and people are just going to have to get over it. Mainly myself.
Today marked a milestone for me and my Mommy friend, Colleen. We took our kids to the zoo, which was probably the MILLIONTH time we have done it (and I’m sure there is a million more visits to come), but today was different.
Let’s start at the beginning. Colleen and I started having babies in 2007 and didn’t stop until 2011. In four years, between the two of us, we had six kids. We were there for each other for every bout of morning sickness, every birth, every Baptism, birthday, and everything in between. We’ve talked about every possible baby topic at least a thousand times. From cloth diapering to teething. From homemade baby food to discipline. We’ve seen each other through baby blues, husbands working long hours, moving to new neighborhoods, and kids’ phases (like picky eaters).
In addition to our mommy relationship, our kids have have become so close, that they treat each other like family. They have learned to share, take turns, and help each other. They have spent hours holding hands and following each other everywhere. They have taught each other lessons. They have shared meals, moments, and tears. They have shared their babyhoods together.
A lot of this all comes back to the zoo. The zoo is a place we started going when Colleen’s oldest was about 9 months old and mine was about 4 months old. It was a weekly gathering spot. As we would have more children, we would just pack more food and get bigger strollers.
I remember the first time we brought all six of the kids to the zoo, and we felt like “SUPERMOMS.” We thought we could take on the world. Most people around us looked at us, and thought we were crazy, but we didn’t care. The zoo was/is our place. Our kids can play, learn, and talk with each other. Colleen and I could catch our breath and talk about things that only we could appreciate (like how we just figured out the perfect system for organizing toys in our house).
Today is different because the kids are growing up.
School is starting. Our time is not our own. We cannot call each other and say, “it’s gorgeous outside, we’re going to the zoo.” or “Our kids needs a playdate, let’s head to the zoo.” or “I’m going to go insane if I don’t get out of this house, let’s go to the zoo.”
To our kids nothing changes. We WILL, of course, still meet up at the zoo. If it were up to our kids a pair of them will get married some day, and probably want to have their wedding reception there. But, Colleen and I realized something today. Our babies our growing up. Zoo trips will have to be scheduled around school, soccer and ballet (watery eyes). And as years’ pass, we will probably trying to coordinate a trip before everyone leaves for college (tears).
It kind of seems like an end of an era. Soon, no more strollers, no more sippy cups, no more diapers. Conversations will turn to drivers’ licenses, boy/girl parties, and college.
While we were both a little (and by a little, I really mean VERY) emotional today. I have to say some of my tears were happy. We have created a bond for our kids and with each other that will hopefully last a lifetime. Maybe someday they will be meeting at the zoo with their own kids (sob).Looking forward to what’s ahead. Are you?