This Monday after Mother’s Day, TimeHop decided to play a cruel joke on me.
Apparently six years ago and one year ago, Mother’s Day fell on May 10, and of course I shared about it on social media, because that’s who I am. TimeHop presented me with all the sweet, homemade things I was presented with six years ago, when I had one kid in kindergarten, one in preschool, and a two-year-old on my hip.
Beautiful stick figure pictures of myself. Handprint molds, fingerprint keychains, and of course the “My Mommy is _____ years old” fill-in sheets (my four-year-old thought I was 52). Last year, even in a pandemic, my then 11-year-old tried to make things special with cards and a banner. We had brunch with my parents and my sister and her husband.
This year, it appears that I’ve graduated to Big Kids.
I think it’s the stage in between sweet and little, where you truly love Mommy, and Teen, where maybe you start to appreciate her. I do, blessedly, still have one little kid, a four-year-old who presented me with a card she made at school on Thursday. But that was the extent of my Mother’s Day. I wasn’t sure the Big Kids even remembered there was a Mother’s Day.
I am not really into Hallmark holidays, and it wasn’t the lack of little cards and gifts that bothered me as much as the realization that three-fourths of my kids are now fully in Big Kid territory. At 12, 10, and eight, life looks a lot different for them than it did six years ago. They have their own interests, friends who aren’t just my friends’ kids, and they spend most of their time at home hidden away, doing their own thing. They mostly handle their own homework, don’t need help bathing, and rarely hug me without prompting. (I still hug them, of course. As much as they’ll let me.)
I’ve sensed this moment for months, years even. My 12-year-old has, of course, seemed to be a Big Kid for several years, but for some reason, Mother’s Day just seemed to be the last straw. It’s here. Even with a preschooler, I’m no longer the mother of babies and toddlers. I really only have one kid who needs me for any sort of physical needs. The rest of them are in the stage where they think they don’t need me at all and even then, I’m the worst.