~ There is a last time for everything ~

Remember, in parenting, there is a last time for everything. There will come a time when you will feed your baby for the very last time. They will fall asleep on you after a long day and it will be the last time you hold them sleeping. One day you will carry them on your hip, or over your shoulder, then set them down and never pick them up again. The thing is, you won't even know it's the last time until there are no more times, and even then, it will take you a while to realize. So while you are living in these times remember there are only so many of them ahead, and when they are gone you will yearn for just one more day of them.  For one last time.  - Author Unknown

It was our first year of marriage when I walked into our living room and found my new husband crying on the couch. I started to feel numb when I asked him what was wrong, just dreading whatever terrible news he was about to deliver. He pointed to the television where Entertainment Tonight was doing a reunion special on "The Golden Girls"...insert a few minutes of genuine confusion until I accepted that my new husband was indeed crying over a Goldens Girls reunion.  I think I threw a pillow at him for scaring the hell out of me and then instantly started making fun of him.  

In his defense, it was a special on the oldest Golden Girl who was battling dementia, so it was indeed sad, but still, who the hell cries over a Golden Girls reunion? Apparently my new husband.

From then on out we've always declared him the more emotional one in the marriage.  He wears it proudly, clearly outcrying me when all 3 babies were born, and when we buried our family dog. 

It's not like I have a heart of stone, I do cry once in a while, but my brain is wired wrong and I cry when I'm mad instead of sad. 

So imagine my suprise last week at Libby Lu's pre-school graduation when I lost my sh*t.  Like, really lost it.  And just like the beautiful words above said...I didn't even see it coming...  

"The thing is, you won't even know it's the last time until there are no more times, and even then, it will take you a while to realize"

My baby graduated from pre-school and it snuck up on me like a snake in the grass. Maybe because I've been so busy celebrating...gloating even, that I'm this close to having all 3 kids in school...all day.   

I've been invisioning my days ahead...lying on the couch, still in my pajamas, reading a book, watching Wendy Williams in peace and quiet while eating Cheetos that I don't have to share. My house is clean because there isn't anyone home to mess it up. Maybe I'll go to the grocery store by myself, paint my nails and actually let them dry, take a shower that lasts longer than 3 minutes, hopefully I remember how to shave my legs?
(Peace Sign & Duck face from the stage is the universal sign in our family for "I see you mom")

But when last Wednesday rolled around the only thing that was on my mind was getting her to the graduation ceremony on time, and not on "Manno time."  We were in a hurry, as always, put away the dogs, lock up the house...we had to take separate cars because we were going separate places afterwards, had to find Rocky a ride to baseball, and oh crap we need to make a pit stop to get her some flowers. 

We made it right on time- I rushed her into the back room of the church where her awesome teachers were waiting with her cap and gown.  I started getting her dressed, which wasn't an easy feat. The gown was white and not ours to keep, and she was wearing lipgloss and mascara so we had to be gentle, but her gigantic Manno-size head wouldn't fit in the freaking neck hole and the zipper was stuck.  It eventually gave way.  But then I had to squeeze her big melon into a cap that said "one size fits all," which might as well say "This will not fit a Manno-size head."  It was so tight it pushed her eyebrows down like Bert from sesame street.  But who cares! She was dressed! Success! Time to join my family in the sanctuary and enjoy the program.  

I stepped back to see her head-to-toe and admire my hard work.

It didn't really hit me until that moment what she would look like in her little cap and gown. Of course she struck a pose, tilting her head so those curls just billowed down her shoulder and a big smile crept across her face. She took my breath away. Literally. And with zero warnings, the floodgates opened. Like a tsunami from my stomach straight to stinging in the back of my eyes as I nearly bit a hole in my lip trying to stop the ugly cry from coming. 
I thought I composed myself enough to join my family in the sanctuary, but judging from the looks on their faces I didn't do it well. I tried to talk but only baby dinosaur noises came out. 

All I could think about was how ridiculous I looked to the other parents, they were emotional too but I was the only one nearly dry heaving in the pew. a

Even my mom was like, "Kelly pull yourself together!" and I vaguely remember Aunt Patti taking a picture of me crying with her phone-LOL

Luckily I remembered I had gotten a spray tan a few hours earlier and didn't want to streak it, so that helped me suck it up.  The kids started singing.  At some point in between songs I caught my husband's attention and mouthed the words "I want more babies," and he mouthed back, "No I just bought you a pig."
I don't really have a pretty bow to tie on the end of this post.  My babies are growing up, it's really hard, and I just wanted to say it out loud. Thanks for letting me share. 

But I'll end with a cute moment from her ceremony.  Enjoy the shaky cell phone video. Sure, it's cute that she answers "A bear," but I'm more proud of the Beavis and Butthead moment she has once she sits down with her friends... "Huh, huh...I said Bear!"

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