This past weekend our youngest child graduated from High School.
I thoroughly enjoyed being a mom, a cab driver, coach, tutor, dishwasher, well not so much the dishwasher, but all the other jobs involved with being the mom of nine kids in school.
As much as I might have been overwhelmed at times, and would day dream of time to myself, I never really thought about what came after the last child left home.
When I was a cop, that is what I identified with, it was what made me, me. Then when I took an early retirement to stay home with my blended family of nine kids, I became a mom, and that became what made me, me.
Now with Alexi moving on to further his education in New York, I feel a need to once again figure out what will make me, me.
I will always look back so fondly at the chaos and pandemonium that our life was when they were all at home. I will miss the pillow fights, the oldies nights of roller blading in our kitchen. The long late night talks with a downcast teen or being up with a child who needed comforting. I will long for the days of making different voices while the "puppets" read the kids stories and lugging sweaty sleeping kids into bed.
But most of all I will miss the little gifts made with love, the home made cards and school recitals and hearing the musical note of one of my children calling out "mom" just to make sure I was there.
I realize that all journeys must come to an end, but the most important thing that I, we, need to remember is that when one road ends, another is wide open for us to take.
My children have gone on to have kids, careers, lives and adventures of their own and we can continue to show them the way by having adventures of our own that we can share over the rare times that we can all gather together as a family.
The story telling, the sharing, the sheer joy of being together once again will re-enforce to me how much the memories of the past make way for the possibilities of the future.
Grab the toothbrush baby, my bags are packed and I am ready to hit the road!