Today as I was unloading the dishwasher, I noticed something. My last big, plastic cup with a straw that I received as a thank you for giving birth at OSF St. Francis upon having Jack has a huge crack in it. I tried to fill it up and take a sip, but the crack is in the straw, so I may have injured my tongue in trying to salvage the 32 ouncer.
It doesn't fit in a cup holder.
It has a purple lid.
It even has words of symptoms associated with the birth process scrawled across it that makes Joe cringe as he stares across the dinner table at it night after night.
But today, I'll have to throw it away. I can't have an injured tongue…how would I talk, and next to drinking out of this cup, talking is what I do.
So it got me thinking, this week has been a pretty big week for us. We've made the jump from having nine years of having a kid in diapers to being a family that all uses the facilities correctly. I'm not going to go on and on about the details of this endeavor, but I will tell you that my lovely friend Kathleen is smirking, because I bragged upon potty training three girls before age two, and pretty much considered myself a really smart and potentially an expert at the subject. She reminded me in her good friend way that all children are different, and to just wait until we tried with Jack.
She was right.
If you do the math, you'll see that he's over half way to three…way past before two.
So my "smart mom/expert" title has been relinquished, and I'm just one of those parents who won't have a $200 Target bill at the checkout thanks to the lovely folks and Huggies and Pampers.
I think I have made a big step in my parenting journey. I'm done with babies. My cup runneth over with toddlers and elementary schoolers, but my baby cup's straw has broken, injured my tongue, so we're onto the next step.
The farm is like that. We're moving into calving season, officially. Night time checks, chains in a small cup in the back sink (don't ask, I don't either…), and the stress of it all are setting in. While this is Joe's "game time," and it's exhausting and hard and intense, when he finishes up in the spring (that's coming, right?), he'll take a step back and reflect on the fruits of his hard work and make a mental note of his progress as a livestock farmer.
Much like my reflection over the trash can this morning as I placed my OSF cup lovingly to be hauled away to that big dishwasher in the sky.
Regardless of where we are in life, stages ending and starting are just part of it. If I sat around and thought about it too much, I'd cry, so for now, I'll just remember all stages come to an end, in a good way (such as diapers…praise GOD!) and in a silly way like the significance of the cup. Calving will end, too, and in the thick, we'll all be stressed and short with each other, but in the end, it's all good. Everything comes back full circle.
Even if it means a trash can.