I love writing and reading children's books! I like watching cartoons, going to Disney world, and getting overly excited over newly released animated films! But my youngest is 14 going on 28! (not quite in her 30s yet, but darn near close). What happens now? I have two in college and one in high school. I knew my life was changing, when I sat alone in a theater watching Disney's Coco (totally a great film!). No one wanted to watch it. My oldest, 22, she would have been down for it but alas she was overseas, representing our country at a track and field event. The other two? Don't even ask.
I remember when I was in my 20s, I told a co-worker, Ana, that I write children's books. She was a mom of two adorable kids, I thought she would be impressed, but instead she said, "how can you write children's books and you aren't even a mom?" "You need to have kids first to be reputable". Dream dead. I did eventually become a mom, and then didn't take my writing seriously for 25 years.
Now as I am approaching empty nester status, I am moving like a runaway train. I am sure Ana wasn't trying to dash away my dreams, her advice had it's good points. I definitely had more inspirations from my kids than I would have if I didn't have any. I just wonder if Ana would now say, "but your children are grown? Why are you writing children stories?"
I am full of a lot of memories and a little sadness that comes with knowing you don't have a captive audience to drag to Sesame Street Live or Disney on Ice shows. No longer do I have readily excited participants to watch educational shows on PBS. Or Saturday morning cartoons (those stopped being great in the 90s away - but Man, those were the days!)
God willing I will have grandchildren, but in the meantime I need to adjust to this different kind of mom I am becoming, the mom of independent/semi-independent children. There are so many mom groups out there: breastfeeding moms, moms with no time to shower, moms who brunch, gluten-free moms or bad moms, but I don't think we talk much about "in between" moms. You know, the transitioning mom. The mom who begins to realize its been years since she had to carry wipes in her bag, or juice boxes, or band-aids but still is needed for pick-ups and drop-offs to friends house, sporting events or restaurant outings. A mom who may get that occasional phone call on how much should your average water bill be? Or should I drop a class? However, the parenting is from afar. Not up close and hands on like she had been accustomed to.
I wasn't ashamed of watching Coco in the theater by myself. And if I had to answer Ana's last question I would tell her "I love animation, I love the vibrant color of children's book and all the wonderful illustrations and always will, that's why I will still write children stories.
So yea, I am a different kind of mom, but a mom nonetheless, and if you see me in the theater at the next animated release, say hi!