My oldest son is 18 years old today.
It’s a bit weird and a bit surreal. In my head, I am still 30 years old and he should still be a baby. In reality, I’m old and have adult children.
It’s a weird place to exist.
A Few Words About Having Big Kids:
#1: Noses, butts & baths
Once your kids grow up you will have some new freedoms and some new problems.
Things I do not miss about having little ones:
- Diapers that explode up the back. I was not the mom who had a change of clothes, bathing suits and extra everything in her diaper bag. It was a good day if I made it out of the house with the baby and some wipes.
- Diaper rash. Poor things.
- Buying Diapers. I can remember spending half of my grocery budget on diapers back in the day (My first 2 kids were 18 months apart so we had 2 in diapers). And this was a time before cloth diapers had reappeared on the scene. We were buying Pampers by the case & filling landfills everywhere.
- Emptying the diaper pail. Ewww.
- Potty Training. Not fun.
- Wiping Noses. Poor things -During Kentucky winters, those little noses would run like faucets. I don’t know who hated all the nose wiping more – me or them.
- Taking care of sick babies. Ugh.
- Bathing children. Nope. I don’t like giving children baths either. I love to hold, snuggle, kiss and play with them all – but I am happy when they can sufficiently bath themselves.
- Bedtime. Does anyone else hate bedtime? I had 4 children in less than 7 years and for a while (like 10 decades) bedtime was a miserable, exhausting, battle of existence. I would start dreading bedtime about 2 pm. I actually threw in the towel when my youngest was 4 years old. Our other 3 children could bathe, dress, brush and put themselves to bed. The youngest still needed lots of assistance in all of these categories. Luckily, he was a boy and I told DH he would either need to take over the bedtime routine or I was moving out.
Having big kids is definitely lower in physical labor than little ones.
#2: Big kids don’t go to bed.
One of the perks of the little ones is that you can put them to bed at 7:30 and have 13 hours of blessed peace.
I can remember days when my babies would skip their naps (for one reason or another) and I’d put them to bed after dinner. They had no clue how early it was.
It was great.
This will never work with teenagers. Not only do they know what time it is, they do not go to bed when it’s daylight out. Truthfully, I think they’d prefer to stay up until the next day. I’m told that teenage brains actually function better in the evenings. Some homeschoolers let their big kiddos do school work in the middle of the night because that’s when they are most alert and can think clearly.
I say hogwash. In this home, we sleep at night & you are a welcome member of the family. Go to bed. I’ll see you in the morning.
#3: They will be your best friends
There is no one I would rather hang around with than my children. The older they get, the more I love them. I can remember when they were born, thinking I could never love anything more than I did at that moment.
Just wait until they are 18 years old. I could eat him up – So blessed!
#4: Your Life’s Work
I don’t know what you’ve been up to for the past 18 years but I’ve been raising humans.
Seriously, I have nothing to show for my life other than the 4 people who live in this home. I have loved. I have cared. I have educated. I have prayed. I have taught. I have disciplined. I have poured the best years of my life into these 4 children…
and I don’t think there is any higher calling.
If you are a mom and sometimes feel like you are running on the hamster wheel of life – don’t give up. Don’t quit. Don’t grow weary in doing good.
At the proper time, you will reap a harvest if you do not give up.
These kids need us, Mommys. All the time spent on them is time well spent.
No one tells you how well you are doing when you change diapers, bathe children, cook and clean all day. If anything – they are probably complaining…
If you are that stay-at-home-mommy (or daddy):
I am here to tell you that it is worth it. These little ones will be 18 years old one day and you will know that the last 18 years of your life were not wasted.
It is more important to serve God, love others, serve your family than to strive for the ambitions and things of this world. Keep up the good fight – you will be blessed!
If you are a working-mommy (or daddy):
Keep pouring into these hearts and minds and teaching them! You don’t have as many hours a day to do it – but we are all doing it. I’m sure it is so much harder for you.
#5: Cigarettes, R-Rated Movies & Lottery Tickets
Along with voting, my grown child can now freely partake in Cigarettes, R-Rated Movies & Lottery tickets… without my knowledge or permission. I think my heart just stopped for a minute.
He is still a kid at heart though. Mentally, he’s still 10.
Would you like to know what he has planned for his 18th birthday celebration?
He is having 7 of his best friends over for an airsoft war. What could be more fun than shooting your favorite people with pellets?
I’ll tell you one thing I know about Airsoft wars: Airsoft is NOT soft.
I do not know this from experience. I know this from observation. I stay locked in the house during all airsoft wars for obvious, rational reasons.
What I gather from watching:
- Have you seen someone dress for an airsoft war? It can be the middle of summer and they are all in layers, coats, helmets and eye protection. Anything that requires this much padding cannot be soft.
- I’ve seen the welts. Yes, welts. We don’t even let our younger ones participate in the battles because of the battle scars we’ve witnessed. Red, swollen, pain.
#6: Growing up & Moving on
This 18-year-old is a weirdo. He finished high school at 15. He started college at 16. He plans to graduate from college in 2019 when he is 19 years old (if all goes well) as a Biology major. He wants to be a dentist.
His path has been crazy and fun and unbelievable. I have been blessed to be his mama and watch him grow into such an amazing dude.
Looking forward to seeing what God does with you, buddy.
I love you!