As I’m sitting here in Target, my thirteen year old, Rebecca is trying on her first bikini and all I can think is “Wow. No one prepared me for this.”
Tonight Rebecca graduates from middle school. I know what you are thinking, “Big deal, it’s just 8th grade.” Insert exaggerated eye roll. And I would be lying if I probably thought the same thing last year, when it wasn’t my child.
But now. Now I’m sitting here with a flood of emotions that no one prepared me for.
You see I felt somewhat prepared for breastfeeding, crib types, diapers, and CPR. I felt prepared for childcare options, Gymboree classes, and the importance of reading to Rebecca before she was born. I read What to Expect When You are Expecting 3 times and devoured every child magazine article in the grocery store aisle and library.
But no one prepared me for the sheer joy and heartache that comes with parenting or approaching milestones that mark that the end of your child being in your home is quickly approaching.
No one prepared me to be a single parent before Rebecca was even born.
No one prepared me for having to work full time with an infant when my dreams were to stay home and raise her.
No one prepared me for dating and being overprotective of introducing a little one to a stranger.
No one prepared me for one of those strangers, Jeff to fall in love with me and Rebecca and love her as his own.
No one prepared me for my stomach sinking when Rebecca drove away with her biological father for a week. An entire week.
No one prepared me for a shy child.
No one prepared me for cancer.
No one prepared me for the words and tears when Jeff said, “Jenny, please fight. If you die, I will lose you and Rebecca.”
No one prepared me for hitting my knees pleading to live long enough to see Rebecca grow up with her brother and sister.
No one prepared me for a child who crawled into a shell after cancer. Shy was taken to an entire new level.
No one prepared me for a child who didn’t want to play sports as she would miss half the games when visiting her father 2 hours away every other weekend. She didn’t want to let anyone down by missing games.
No one prepared me for how happy I would be to see my children love one another.
No one prepared me for the hours of homework help Jeff and I assisted her with in elementary school.
No one prepared me for the day when Rebecca said she wanted to play volleyball. Ecstatic.
No one prepared me for her sitting on the bench.
No one prepared me for how Rebecca would soon blossom.
No one prepared me for her asking to run for school Vice President. “Really?” was my response, followed by the largest smile in the world.
No one prepared me for her winning after giving a speech to the entire student body.
No one prepared me how it truly takes a village to raise a child. Her teachers adore her.
No one prepared me for her refusing our help with homework and then inducted into the National Junior Honor Society.
No one prepared me for how much I would grow to love her friends and enjoy their successes, too.
No one prepared me for how satisfying it would feel when she confided in me who she fancies.
No one prepared me for the depth of how loyal she would become. Her friends trust her immeasurably.
No one prepared me for the answered prayers and the beautiful young woman that she has become.
And now I’m back to watching her try on the bikinis and wishing I had her figure. And completely understand now why waterproof mascara was invented.
And to think, I get to experience this 3 more times. Lord help me.
Blessings sweet friends – JennyTweet