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Cheryl's Parenting Journal

Entry 6 ~ October 12, 2008
~ Time to Say Good-Bye

Goodbye High ChairI am exactly the type of person that Kleenex has in mind each time they do a new commercial-a real sap! I say this with no shame whatsoever, and in fact like to think of this as a real character trait. When one of my kids scores a run-I get weepy. When we left our precious dog, Molly, at the kennel this summer when we departed for Disney, I had a lump in my throat for an hour. When a couple commented on what a beautiful family we had while waiting in line at the airport, I nearly lost it. When the bus departs our neighborhood on the first day of school I start cheering (just kidding . . . just kidding . . . my eyes fill up then, too!). When I hear one of my friends is in labor, I cry for pure joy-are you getting the picture?

What can I say-I am just one of those people who wears her emotions on her sleeve, and while that might not be something everyone can relate to-I think most mothers can. That's why I am asking you all to join me, box of tissues in hand, to say "Good Bye" to the last of our baby things.

Hang on . . . I need a minute to compose myself before I can explain further . . . . . . . . . . OK . . . . . . . . I'm back. Let me continue.

As you may know, our youngest child, Anna Louise, who we fondly call "Annie" will be turning THREE on October 29th. This just blows my mind. Even though I have been blessed to have eight newborn babies in my life during the past 15 years-I was never able to face the fact that one of them would truly be the last. Well, that day has finally arrived-and is it ever BITTERSWEET.

After six grueling years of infertility and miscarriages, our oldest daughter, Brittany, came to us through the incredible gift of adoption. There's not a day that goes by that I don't give a big "Thanks" to the man above for helping her birthmother choose Brian and I to be her parents. (Is that ever a reason to grab a Kleenex!) She will be turning sixteen this June and that is another fact of life that I truly can't fathom. But . . . in between her infancy and Annie's, we were blessed to experience pregnancy and birth and the sweet, sweet joy of loving and caring for EIGHT babies! Eight! If I didn't say it aloud sometimes I wouldn't believe it myself.

My obstetrician and dear friend now, Dr. Marc Jaffe, would get just as excited as me when I'd call the office to schedule my first pre-natal appointment with all of my pregnancies. He was with Brian and me when we traveled that very long road down the path of infertility and each time we'd hear the heartbeat for the first time, he would get just as emotional as we would. I think it was almost as hard for him as it was for me when I realized that Annie would be the last baby. (Although, I suppose one should never say never!) So now that she has been in nursery school for a full month now, and I'm one of the only mothers leaving the school without a small child in tow, it's time to say a final "Good Bye" to things like the high chair (which believe me, has seen better days!!), the last package of diapers lying in our pantry, the infant car seat that is tucked away in our attic and the newborn baby clothes like onesies, layette nightgowns and one-piece snow suits that I hung on to "just because." Time marches on, and so do our growing children. (Could someone hand me a Kleenex please?)

Believe it or not, Annie does still sleep in her crib. (One very last baby item to hang on to for dear life!) It's the same crib our oldest daughter, Brittany, slept in. It was a carousel themed-nursery that Brittany had in her first bedroom so Annie was the lucky recipient whether she knew it or not. That is something I will never part with-I will save it in our attic for Brittany or one of our other children to use. That crib was my dream crib!! When you wait six, long years to welcome a baby into your home, these things are very well planned. As our other children came along in quick succession, however, those designer nurseries I had long dreamt of were quickly a thing of the past. Priorities you know!

So, as this beautiful Columbus Day Weekend here in Rhode Island comes to an end, I will be closing a bittersweet chapter in my life-that of baby paraphernalia. (Another Kleenex please!)

Mom and her boysIt's really OK, though. I have so many experiences ahead of me with not just my youngest, but the rest of our brood, too. My 6-year old, Brady, has the absolute yummiest descriptions of his new life in all-day Kindergarten. Do you know that last week he was the Chair Manager? That all-important job entailed making sure that each child's chair was tucked under the desk at the end of each day! Was he ever proud! (Yes . . . another Kleenex moment!) And my oldest daughter attended her first Homecoming Dance this past weekend-a real Kleenex moment, let me tell you as I watched her leave our entryway wearing a stunning black dress on the arm of her new boyfriend. And my 6th grader, Austin, was just asked to give a speech at school next month about the importance of being a good role model (yikes . . . when I watch that I'd better bring a whole box of tissues and a couple of bath towels!), so the blessings of watching my children grow from babies to young adults will hold many new moments that will be just as important as saying good-bye to our Fisher Price items.

Now, as I finish this entry I am waiting for Brian to come home with the kids-they are visiting his parents' house this afternoon. He arranged for my mother to come watch the kids tonight so we could go out for a quiet dinner together . . . ALONE! Yep . . . grab me a Kleenex!

Oh, I almost forgot---both the washer and dryer are now working just fine and that third item to break has yet to happen! Maybe my tried and true superstition about things breaking in threes is now a thing of the past! If not-I always have my trusty Kleenex ready!!!

Be well everyone and I hope you are enjoying a spectacular Fall. Hugs to Jasmine in Michigan!!

Take care,
   ~ Cheryl

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