Life, Motherhood, Parenting, Photography

Taking Off the Training Wheels

I recently migrated my blog and some of the pictures didn’t make the move. So imagine pictures where captions are. 
On Mothers Day, I had an epiphany.
In five years, my oldest daughter probably won’t be sharing this day with me.
Because she will be away at college.
And it hit me like a thud right where my heart and stomach meet.
Walking in Chicago with my girls

I have submerged myself into this motherhood pool from day one.
Jumping in head first, with wild abandon not caring who is looking and what kind of splash I will make.
I pretty much live for my children.
Which I am told by many a self-help book is the absolute wrong thing to do.
And I don’t care.

Sweet little feet

I do this because I like doing it
I do this because I am lucky to be doing it.
I am grateful every single day for the privilege of being able to be a stay at home mom.
I don’t take the job lightly and quite frankly, I am damn good at it.

Ella looking out to Lake Michigan

When my youngest daughter was feeling pressured by a neighbor boy to take the training wheels off her bike last month, I felt a thud.
But I dutifully took them off.
She thrived for five rounds but then wanted them back on after falling for five or six more tries.
Younger me would have made her keep riding, get back on, you are doing this.
Older me, softer me, had the husband put them back on the following day.
“Why the hurry to be off training wheels??”, I questioned.
“She has plenty of time.”

Doesn’t she?


Holding my daughters hand

This rollercoaster is going too fast.
I want it to slow down.
I blame myself
Wasn’t it I who was sitting on the bathroom floor when my oldest was a tween and my youngest was in the throws of terrible two’s, three’s…….fours?…. begging for time to speed up?
“Hurry, time!! I can’t take this anymore!”
Some days even saying under my breath, ‘I cannot wait until they go to college’.

In Lake Geneva with my youngest daughter

Why would I put that out there??
The universe, God listened.
And it is going by way too fast.
Faster as they get easier, less complicated, less needing me.

Making Christmas cookies with my girls

At this point, I would pay my oldest to stay within an hour drive when she goes to college.
I would pay for college and give her a car to have her still live at home while attending college.
I know, I need help.
Please don’t tell me I am the only one.
Please tell me that you too have thought of this
I don’t ever want them to leave.
I said it.

My sweet girls

When my oldest was placed in my arms 14 years ago, it was the first time I had held a newborn.
I had never been a “baby person”.
Never planned out my children’s names when I was a teenager.
Never begged to babysit neighbor’s children unless they were over the age of 10.

In fact, I was worried while pregnant with my Annie that I wouldn’t be a good mom.
Because I wasn‘t a baby person.


Pregnant with Anna

I fell in love with being a mom a few weeks after they were born.
Because I am not gonna romanticize it, the first four weeks are kinda ugly.
But after you get to know them?
They are pretty cool.

And they share their snacks too.
No one tells you that when you are pregnant.
It IS a perk.

In my ideal world, I want to be the Braverman Family.
I want my family all around me.
I want someday grandkids to be all over me with sticky fingers and hands.
I want the back porch to swing open with my daughters, their mates, their friends, their dogs.
I want it all.
Come over. Stay for supper. Are you tired? Spend the night!

Ella's birthday

It took me many years to realize that for all the time I was desperately missing extended family, my little immediate family was sitting here waiting for me to open my eyes and appreciate what I have.
I HAVE a family.
Right here.
In my home.
And they are AWESOME.


My daughters at the zoo

I am aware of how fleeting it is.
I know someday I will want these moments back.
Sometimes I am good at sitting back but most days I am not.
While screaming at them to clean their rooms or to not roll their eyes at me, I realize that THIS is most likely the moment they will remember.

These girls have my heart

There are moments in every parent’s life that you wish time would speed up.
When they are sick when they are going through the terrible two’s, teething, potty training and most of the tween years.
When they are in the WHY? WHY? WHY? stage.
When they are in the YOU AREN’T THE BOSS OF ME stage.

Being a mom is hard at times

Even as I was writing this over the course of a week, there were days when I would literally laugh out loud.
Because as I was typing the words of HOW WILL I LIVE WITHOUT THEM?? it was while they were at school when the house was very quiet.
Come 3:45, I was ready to move out because the six-year-old has decided at school that she was not going to use the letter S the rest of the day.
Or when shopping for a graduation dress with my 14-year-old, she declares that “you don’t know fashion” and that “wearing capri pants are for old ladies. You know. Like you.”

Anna and I on Mothers Day

My oldest daughter is graduating 8th grade at the end of this week.
I can see things moving in slow motion yet I wake up one morning and I am getting ready to register her for high school.

Where is it going?


Girls holding hands on a plane

I want to cling to their heels every time they walk away.
With every single milestone.
Grade changes.
Hair color changes.


Anna making BLT salad

Wasn’t I just reading What To Expect?
Wasn’t I just writing what food made me burp in my Pregnancy Journal??
Weren’t we just at the Target buying your reward for giving up your pacifier???

My girls Christmas morning

I spend my entire day revolved around their needs.
This is my job.
This is what I do.
This has been my life for 14 plus years.
When they are gone, what will become of me?


I love my children


I am keeping those training wheels on for a little while longer.

If you need me, I will be braiding hair and dancing to Let It Go for the 100th time.
Because I still can.

20 thoughts on “Taking Off the Training Wheels”

  1. That last little section after the last picture got me. I love all of the pictures. You're a great Mama, Kari, and a wonderful person all around. You are going to be fine, and so are they.And during those moments when you are not feeling fine, call me and we will go for pie and cry together about missing our babies.


  2. I am trying to draw out this school year as long as possible. Why? Because come September, my first born will be a senior in high school. Th denial is getting harder and harder to wade in…far too shallow!Like you, I am one of the ones the self help books frown upon…well nanna nanna boo-boo…they probably don't suggest wearing capes either! What color is yours Kari, cuz you are super!!!!


    1. Oh, hee hee hee…this would be my daughter's name…you know, for when she started a blog on the dog's behalf! I thought I caught it in time and switched to mine. Wait, the whole alias thing seemed a little cooler, well, I mean not cooler than my daughter….alrighty then hows about I shush a little!?


  3. I am trying to draw out this school year as long as possible. Why? Because come September, my first born will be a senior in high school. Th denial is getting harder and harder to wade in…far too shallow!Like you, I am one of the ones the self help books frown upon…well nanna nanna boo-boo…they probably don't suggest wearing capes either! What color is yours Kari, cuz you are super!!!!


    1. It published your comment under two different names.That is awesome.Maybe because you wear a cape.


    2. I have brought it to my own attention that I rarely fail to mention capes in my comments to you. I'd like to tell you that I'l try to stop, but I feel a friendship founded on lies is no good, so instead I'd like to apologize…only I'm not really sorry either. Thank you for humoring me/us!


  4. GIIRRRLLL! My oldest goes into Jr. High next year and I am already begging him to stay local. He laughes and says he will call every day. Though 2:45 is the worst time of the day, I know someday I will miss it. You will be able to find me in therapy or at the pharmacy getting some drugs.


  5. This is so sweet. I was so scared that kindergarten would be "the end of the little kid phase." But it still had so much little kid. And I loved it. Now we are almost done and on our way to 1st grade. Which will definitely have much less little kid. More responsibility. Less coloring. I'm so afraid of losing the children in them.


  6. Awww. I have been battling the hurry up/slow down thing all year. Lately I catch glimpses of a teenager in my 6-year-old and it freaks me out. I will be the worst empty nester. I already told my daughter I'll remodel the backyard shed so she can live there in college. Like I said – she is 6.


  7. Beautiful post. But when they do ultimately leave? CALL ME. I've made plans involving food & drink. Maybe some golf. And cake. Definitely cake.


  8. Oh, Kari my friend…this kills me. The letting go, it's SO gradual until it seems that it's not. And then you want it to stop but in a way you don't. I totally get that. But now I need those tissues.


    1. Its so hard.I am just glad I have so many friends, like yourself, to get me through it. 🙂


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