enjoyEvery so often I have what I call a "mom" moment. (Yeah, I know, with five kids I should be having "mom" moments 24/7, right?  This is different, hang on...)

A "mom" moment will happen when one of my children performs in a holiday concert, a local play, or when there is some milestone commemorated by a ceremony (for example, a graduation or a sacrament).

My latest "mom" moment happened last weekend while I sat in church, next to my 15-year-old son Brigham, as he was being Confirmed. Brigham had completed all of the necessary requirements and the two-hour service [including the bishops' blessing] was the coup de gras of the work he had been doing all year.

Any "mom" moment I have experienced will hit me like a ton of bricks.  It takes my breath away, tears pool in my eyes, and it requires me to concentrate very hard on anything OTHER than that moment in time.

Because, you see, a "mom" moment is when I realize that right in front of me, in little ways every single day, my child is growing up. He is seeing, feeling, hearing, doing all of these wonderful things when I am not around.  The culmination of that time elsewhere is the moment I am now in.

And the pride/fear/desire to protect/overwhelming feeling of love all come together and slap me upside the head.

THAT is a "mom" moment.

How did I handle it?  The same way I always do.

I blinked back the tears, sniffled, stared off into space and thought about the next season of American Idol until I got through it.  Because I would never want to embarrass my kid by bawling in front of him (or the rest of the congregation for that matter).

[I made that mistake only one time, but it was right after Mia was born and I think everyone just chalked it up to my being overly hormonal.]

Last Saturday, as I sat in church next to Brigham (whom I lovingly refer to as "Dawg" and who reminds me more and more everyday of Shaggy from Scooby Doo because he is beginning to sprout some serious whiskers and desperately needs a hair cut...which he refuses to get because he feels he looks good with hair in his eyes), I realized that almost over night he has gone from a 4-pound baby boy:

Baby Brig

Brig dance

To this funny, free-spirited young man:

Brig on Confirmation And I know all too well what is about to happen, because it has done so twice before.

I will turn around and be standing in the auditorium cheering him on as he graduates.  Then, what will feel like a half-second later, I will be helping him pack up to move on to the next phase of his life's journey.  As he takes another step in pursuit of his goals, we'll see less and less of him.

Which is absolutely to be expected; but nonetheless emotional as I allow that reality to sink in.

My "mom" moment last weekend prompted me to cherish all the moments this week which I would have taken for granted (the daily drop off at the high school, the talks before bed, the pick ups from tennis matches...).

The real gift of having a "mom" moment is that I recognize the daily grind of child rearing is going to come to an end.  And I have to make the most of each moment.

Thanks Dawg, for all you have given me and for all I know you will continue to give in the days ahead!