You know that your babies aren’t babies anymore. But there’s nothing like staying in a state of mommy denial. (Or daddy denial for all those wonderful fathers out there who celebrated Father’s Day yesterday! Happy Belated Father’s day!) At least for a little while. Like a distant relative used to say (who saw me and my brother once every two years), “They’re growing like weeds!” My two kids honestly are growing like weeds. There, I said it. But they’re still my babies. I see that they’re growing up. I know they’re big. They are 11 and 8, not 2 and 5. I don’t treat them like babies. I get that they are saying things I used to say to my parents (in a way that’s a lot cooler than my 1980s Texas Valley girl slang, thankfully). But I still can’t believe it.Β  Over the past few weeks, with all their end of school year events & activities, I’ve managed to stay in a perpetual state of mommy denial. And recently, as I unintentionally fried my forehead sitting through my son’s 5th grade end of year celebration, it hit me. Slathering on some sunscreen a few hours too late, I realized to myself, “This is really happening.” My son is actually heading into the 6th grade. I started to tear up a little. I remember 6th grade. It can’t be. He is not a baby anymore. I’m outwardly happy that he’s excited to go to junior high. That he sings along to Flo Rida the way I listened to Madonna when I was 11. (And last week.) But inside, I’m a mess. A wreck. It comes on at the most random times too. I was fixing a peanut butter sandwich the other morning when my son casually reminded me that he was heading to a field trip at the Middle School. The Middle School – where he’ll be going to school at the end of August! “Oh,” I heard myself say. And then, before I could finish cutting my whole grain masterpiece into two triangular wedges, it hit me again. My baby boy is growing up. I dropped the butter knife and sat on the tile. I was embarrassing myself, sitting there all emotional, like ….like Mrs. Cunningham in Happy Days. As I sat, wiping my tears with a totally-on-sale-at-Target-and-not-name-brand-or-soft-in-the-least paper towel, my husband turned to my son and said, “If you know what’s good for you, you better go hug your mom right now.” I embraced my 11-year-old for a few seconds, looked into his eyes and apologized for losing it. Then I started laughing. We all started giggling. I went into the bathroom, blew my nose (with a totally awesome soft tissue that I did NOT buy on sale), washed my hands, and walked back into the kitchen like everything was hunky dory. At least for a little while. Inside, I was still asking: What the heck happened? When did my baby boy become a tween? And when, for the love of Joanie Loves Chachi, did I start crying like Mrs. C?

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