Fourteen years ago I became a mom. It's been a fun ride so far but holy smokes, I had no idea what being a mom meant. No. Freaking. Clue. I've learned so much. Let's review:
I learned to be an advocate for my kids from the beginning. I remember telling our (then) pediatrician that something was wrong with one of my kids (A). No, you're just a nervous mom, she said. After changing doctors and getting a referral to Children's Hospital (what took you so long to bring her here?), I was proven right. Boo yah.
I learned how to take advantage of the world around me: When M had eye surgery at age 4, I told her if she'd just suck it up and do the drops until the end, we'd have a super huge party with a big surprise. She didn't know until around age 12 that the fireworks that last day of her eye drops were really for July 4.
We got so lucky and won two slots in the french immersion program and sent our girls to school in a language we don't speak. That's been an educational experience that I could never have predicted.
We (my ex and I) should write a book on how to divorce without destroying your kids. We've done a pretty good job so far. Or at least I think we have. And our Significant Others deserve a lot of credit for making it work.
I learned how to deal with teachers who don't like my kids. And I learned to LOVE the ones that get them. The school process has been a never-ending learning process (for me).
I've learned that I have many names. Sometimes I'm Ima (Hebrew). Then there was Emme (Estonian). Maman (French), Judi (when they're annoyed) and Ma (when they need something) and Mommy (still, especially when they need comforting).
I've learned that I should never have gotten my kids phones. Or showed them YouTube. Or let them go to middle school. It all sucks.
That's just a smattering of the things I've learned so far. There's so much more. I can't even begin to guess what high school will bring. I also can't believe that I am the parents of high school freshmen. How the hell did that happen??