I’m aware that not everyone who reads our blog is Catholic – plus, I’m totally cool with that because A LOT of my friends, people I admire and people I love are also NOT Catholic. I am Catholic . . . and so is my husband. This past weekend, our oldest son, Nate participated in his second sacrament of initiation. He made his first confession.
For those of you that aren’t Catholic, this is one of our sacraments of initiation along with Baptism and First Communion. We go through them to become FULL members of the church and Nate is one step closer now. He did amazing . . . me? Not so much. I cried my eyes out when he was up there telling the priest about all the times he hit his brothers or didn’t listen to his parents or stayed up too late playing his Kindle when everyone thought he was sleeping. I thought a lot about the fact that he had to do this on his own . . . I couldn’t help him. I couldn’t hold his hand and just be there while he did something that needed a little strength. I was there and I know he felt that support (I even went to confession – after 10 years – to show him that I was right there with him and valued what he was doing) but he had to talk to the priest by himself.
This, my friends, is the second time I’ve felt that pang. That, “Oh crap . . . he’s growing up” pang, SO strong that it threw me off for a while. The first one was when the school bus drove away with him on his first day of Kindergarten (many tears were shed that day, too). I remember that one SO well. I was at the bus stop with my other kids and my dad. We were all smiles and excitement and happy happy as he got on the bus. I took pictures and waved and blew kisses. As soon as the bus was far enough away that he couldn’t see me and I couldn’t stop it . . . my dad said to me, “You did so much better than I thought you would” and I burst into tears crying . . . “That was SO freaking HARD!”
I know that there are going to be a lot of really hard times when I will need to let my kids do their thing and I will have that “Oh crap . . . they are growing up” pang again. I know that they get more frequent the older my kids get . . . I’m not ready to talk about driver’s licences and college yet (and I don’t have to!). The truth is that every little thing that makes them “older” and shows me they are growing up is going to hurt just a little. The tears will come because I’m HORRIBLE at stopping them. I guess I’d better look into a quality waterproof mascara . . . suggestions on that one?