‘I have only 38 more months left of school.’ ‘What?’ I went for my coffee. ‘It’s 6:30 a.m. I can’t deal with this right now.’: Mom wishes she had known each time would’ve been ‘the last time’ with her kids

“As a mom I’ve always wished that a postcard would come in the mail informing me that I was about to experience some daily task with my kids for the last time.

It would have been nice to know that the fall day in 1999, as I was rushing to get us out the door for a play date but quickly decided to feed my crying baby at the last minute before we left, would be the last time I ever nursed him. He only wanted a bottle after that.

Or that the Christmas of 2013 would be the last time my American Girl Doll obsessed daughter would ever want one again.

Or that on a spring day in 2016, when my youngest son and I had a little time on our hands and decided to stop at the playground, would be the very last time I ever had a kid who wanted to go down a slide or swing on a swing.

Courtesy Kathy Radigan

These seemingly little things that make up the hours of my crazy, busy mom life, don’t seem even remotely monumental, till they are gone.

This morning as I was running around like a chicken without her head, my youngest child informed me that he only had 38 more months of high school left.

‘What?’ I said, as I quickly went for my coffee as he put on his sweatshirt and backpack.

‘I have only 38 more months of high school.’

‘Okay, it’s 6:30 in the morning. I can’t deal with this right now. ‘

‘Peter is it really only 38 more months?’

‘Yes.’

A sadness came over me at the same time my mom brain was busy ticking off my daily to do list and thinking that his bus really does pick him up ridiculously early for a school day that doesn’t start till 7:55.

38 months? Is that really it? 38 months and then my last child, will be done with high school?

Courtesy Kathy Radigan

Peter started chatting away about a movie we just saw and a test he had coming up.

‘I’m going to wait for the bus outside.’

‘No, honey. It’s pitch black outside. Stay in the house until you see the bus.’

He gave me a look I’ve seen many times from his older brother and sister that he just recently perfected. The look that says, you must be joking mother.

‘Hey, I worry about you. Let me do that. You’re my last baby.’

‘OK mom.’ Flashing me a smile that makes me want to grab him and never let go. But of course, I don’t.

With that we see the light of the bus turning the corner, and he bounds out the door.

‘Be careful. It’s still dark. Don’t run,’ I yell.

‘Yes mom.’

The bus stops.

I call out the door, ‘Have a great day. I love you. ‘

‘I love you too, mom,’ he calls back.

Courtesy Kathy Radigan

The bus door opens and he’s off.

As I close the door, it occurs to me, my kid just gave me one of those postcards I’ve always wished for.

I have 38 more months until he’s done with high school.

It’s not nearly enough.”

Courtesy Kathy Radigan

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Kathy Radigan of My Dishwasher’s Possessed by Kathy Radigan. The article originally appeared here.  Submit your story here, and be sure to subscribe to our best love stories here.

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