I was just thinking this morning and wanted to share my thoughts & wish us all a Happy New Year.
Today is Sunday, December 29, 2013. I woke up this morning feeling incredibly grateful. It’s Kieran’s birthday today and last night we took him out to dinner and had his cake here back at home. He turned 14. We had candles that were a #1 and a #4 on the cake. They were left over from Gabby’s birthday. They were also left on the counter with some yellow frosting remnants from the PacMan cake we had. The frosting had gotten a little hard over night. I was the only person up so I straighten up the kitchen a little, fed the cats, and then ran the candles under some warm water to wash away the sugary frosting. As I rinsed them off I thought about the age 14… and for a moment stood in disbelief that I am the mother of teenagers already.
I thought back to when I was a 14 year-old girl living on Long Island. It truly seems like yesterday. I realized with a moment of panic that Tommy will be turning 17 in just over 2 months. These are ages to absolutely cherish. I love that you guys are young adults now and learning how to be independent. Every age that you two ever turned I felt was better than the ages before. With every passing year and every seed of maturity that you gain in your faces, minds and hearts I’m finding it amazing that you are growing up to be really great young adults. In every year that passed; I thought to myself – I thought this is just a perfect age and if I could, I’d like to hold onto this time a bit longer.
This morning again was no exception. 16 and 14 years old. You guys are healthy, and smart, and think critically about the world around you. Neither of you are sucked into the things that most kids and the rest of this country are. I’m glad that you are questioning the mindless things people do, are appreciative of what you have, and have the capacity to think about the effect of what you do on other people in most of the decisions that you make. At this ripe time, you are old enough to be thinking critically (and do!), starting to drive, test out different looks and styles, try out different music and hold some deep thinking, meaningful conversations. And for this wonderful time you still live at home and I still have a good year and a half left of enjoying raising the two of you together.
I walked over the drawer where we keep the candles and contemplated whether or not to keep them. I’d like to use them again in 3 years when I turn 41 and Devin turns 14 a few weeks later. I don’t want these next 3 years to pass too quickly. By then – hoping we are all healthy both mentally and physically – Gabby will know where she is going to college and Tommy will be a sophomore almost halfway done with an undergraduate degree. I will have had some sad but very proud moments as you guys get older and older. I thought back to how both of you volunteered at the VA the summers you were 14. As crazy as that place is and as much as neither of you enjoyed it, I was sad the first day I went back to work alone knowing that you wouldn’t be in the car with me again heading down to work anymore. I thought about how proud I was when Tommy came through the doors of the DMV after his road test – proud, but sad and hoping that all the lessons and advice would stick. And I thought about the pride in my own heart when Gabby recently wrote an essay about someone she admired and she saw traits in me that I always hoped would be traits you guys understood and would emulate.
I opened the drawer and laid the two candles down in one of the plastic bins. The next time they are used for anyone in this house I’ll be thinking back to how quickly these last 3 years passed. Then I thought I hope that I’m looking back fondly. I hope everyone here stays healthy and continues to make wise choices between now and then. I can’t predict the future, but I do love and cherish the present. You guys are 16 and 14 and I wish I can hold onto these years just a little bit longer. There will be a day in the not-so-distant future when you have seen a child grow up and in the blink of an eye is 14 years old and feel like it was yesterday too.
No one and nothing around us is perfect is or ever will be (it’s a farce to think otherwise), but we are very lucky in the grand scheme of things and I just want to be thankful for the moment I am in. I’m grateful and I wanted to share. I love you both incredibly and I just wanted to share what I was thinking about you. Happy New Year going into 2014.