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Running Out of Julys

Brittany Gibbons with her son, Wyatt, overlooking the Toledo Skyline at The Heights Restaurant.

Shhhh… no one move, I want to stay here forever. 

I could be 40 years old with three teens for the rest of my life and I’d be happy. I don’t even care about the peri-menopause. I like these hairs on my chin, all of this is fine, just leave me be. 

My friend told me recently that the majority of parenthood happens when your kids are adults. You are a parent longer to an adult child (god willing) than a small child. And mathmatically, yes, that’s probably correct. 

But, I was in Target the other day and there were fall pumpkins in the dollar area. Halloween pumpkins in the middle of summer, excuse you, sir?

I refuse to be rushed through this season of my life, Target. I will not sprint toward heartbreak. I rebuke your summer time jack-o-lanterns.

I’m positively maudlin, friends. All my days are labeled differently now. It’s not July, it’s my last normal July with Jude. My second-to-last July with Wyatt. I have three more summers with Gigi. 

“The days are long, but the years are short,” is a stupid phrase people say with their stupid mouths to highlight how stupidly stupid all of this stupid part of parenting is. 

You see, when your kids are little you’re so far underwater that you can’t even see the surface, and all of it feels like forever. But it’s not. It’s not forever, it’s seconds. Listen to me moms with babies, IT’S SECONDS. 

Going forward, this is what I’m writing in all baby shower cards:

“You’re in for a world of hurt. I hope you like crying and contemplating your own mortality. Also, congrats on the baby.”

Lately, I keep thinking back to when I was a teenager. I was so hellbent on speeding up time so I could be an adult and marry my boyfriend and move far away. I keep trying to picture my parent’s faces. Did I ever catch them teary-eyed, watching me obsess over a life beyond them like some sort of heartless monster? Did I ever find them lingering in my room longer, or playing with my hair, or hugging me too long? Most likley, and I probably acted ridiculously annoyed about the whole thing because I was an asshole. 

And for that, I am sorry. I AM SORRY MOM. I take it all back, because this? This sucks. 

So I guess my question is… who am I when I’m not their everyday mom? I know I’m still their mom, obviously. But, will I survive waking up every day in a house without them? Will it ever not break my heart when they ignore my call because they’re busy living a life I don’t know everything about? Will there be a point this senior year that I won’t cry every day (asking for my contacts)?


Thursday 14th of September 2023

I followed you years ago when I was in college. I guess I lost touch along the way. I would have guessed just a few years had passed since I last checked in. Your kids were little, maybe Gigi was 2. I have my own kids now. 4 and 1.5 and still undecided on a third. You happened to pop into my head today, so I Google and found that you've changed the name, but here you are. This post made me cry my eyes out. How are your babies teenagers? What kind of time warp have I entered where you have leapt ahead more than a decade and seemingly only a few years have passed for me? I am in the drowning stage of parenthood. Seeing your words, knowing how in the blink of an eye your kids are now teenagers, and knowing that will happen with mine. Just. Wow. No words. Only tears.


Saturday 22nd of July 2023

You will love through waking up to a house that is empty but for you and your Andy. And you will enjoy that time together again. You will also cry every time you think about how fast it went and all the time you wasted worrying about getting it right. You’ll also look at your adult children with wonder and pride and worry and love. You’ll hug them too tight and just gaze at them when you see them. You’ll love seeing what they’ve become and wish you could go back, but maybe only for a bit.


Thursday 20th of July 2023

I'm exactly right there with you. My youngest just turned 13, my oldest is 23. I've been a parent my entire adult life. It's so hard right now. Thank you for this.

Viv R

Thursday 20th of July 2023

Put simply… get a life mom.


Wednesday 19th of July 2023

The post is beautiful and funny and also makes my heart feel so tight for you. I honestly think the waiting and preparing for my children to leave was harder for longer than the ache and eventual healing after they left. Watching them have all these new experiences without me was hard but also so amazing. I will amazing for you to to see what they’re capable of and also to bear witness to the humans you and Andy created and raised out there shaking up the world. The whole thing is wild, heartbreaking and wonderful all mixed together. PS when the house is empty you can skip clothes any time you feel like it.

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