It all started with this tonight. One picture on my phone. One side by side shot of my oldest in his kindergarten year in his first official “Lifetouch” photo against his last official “Lifetouch” photo. His junior year. His last school picture. Next will be senior pictures and then graduation and then college and then marriage after finding a life partner and then what? I
cannot don’t want to imagine it. Time… please.slow.down.
I remember his kindergarten pictures like it was yesterday. He was so excited to be in kindergarten. He was shy. He was my first. He was the one I made all the mistakes with. The one I hovered over. The one I let room with me at the hospital and then sleep with me as a baby because I just could not let go. He was the one I would look at in his crib in tears because I just loved him so SO much. The one I held the hand of the longest. The one I didn’t want hurt because I was learning that his pain was my pain. Where did time go? Can I get it back? No… I can’t. It is the harsh truth that is so hard to admit. That time… the time you thought you had so much of when they handed you that newly bundled warm sweet-smelling baby. It flies. It won’t slow down no matter how much you wish it to and want it to and try to force it to. In my mind I am screaming “Nooooo!!!! Not ready… not READY!!” I know my mind will say it’s time to let go when it comes… but my heart- my heart will never be.
But I am happy also. My ultimate goal has always been to give my children roots and also wings. God has this strange way of making you ready. There are days that I am so frustrated with the teenage attitude and testing of freedom that I am ready to move him on, and along with that there are days I am not. There are days I look at him and see a grown man and there are days I see my chubby little 1st grader who still needs to hold moms hand at the store so I don’t lose him. He is the child I “cut my teeth on”. He is the one I held and had no clue what I was getting into. He was the one I cried over because I had no idea what I as doing and the one I cried over because I was so damn proud of who he was becoming.
Time is marching on. I am running out of time with my kids. I know this. I accept this…. I am entering a new phase in my life. I also admit the next year will be one of the hardest of my life. Holding on tighter. Letting go. I can do this. I know this is part of the natural process of being a parent. I have to learn to trust him more and watch him become the successful, productive person he is destined to be.
This was tough, yes. It started tears flowing when I sat and looked at it. It signified a new phase of life for me. I think I am ready. I know he is ready- and that means I have my job, and I have done it well.