Where do the years go? I’m standing in the commons of the high school celebrating awards for my daughter and her friends. We are laughing, talking, and tears come up. This is it. Senior. Graduating. Moving on. The last child to fly the nest. I see our neighbor from over 16 years ago. When we first moved into the neighborhood they bought the house next to ours a few months later to our arrival. They have a son Valentina’s age and they played together from about two years old to 4 years old. They moved shortly after their arrival. We always remembered them as we would see them in the community from time to time. Yet, in this moment, summing up the last 16 years of the loss of my father, who lives in the house now, and a soon to be college student, my life flashed before my eyes. I was laughing and talking while all the while my chest was welling up and my eyes were holding back tears. How can a life time of backyard parties, vacations, celebrations, rooms painted different colors, fights over boundaries and coming of age, first job, first tooth, first boyfriend, first dance, all of it be told in a two minute conversation? It seemed like I just checked a box and ran out of paper.
What will the next chapter or even a different book hold for our family? I’ve been in conversations with friends who have been here. I knew the day would come for me, too. You can’t really describe how it feels. You have to walk this road with your life stories and people. In some ways with yourself.
There is no good in regrets or “wish I would have”. I brush those off and celebrate the journey for the story it tells and how it continues to unravel. I close my eyes sometimes and see pictures and stories. A lifetime of memories.
Young moms caught up in diapers, soccer, and sleepless nights, time will pass quickly and you will watch your young ones move on and forward in life. Start now remembering who God created you to be beyond motherhood. Yes, your role, right now, demands your time and attention. Steal away moments and retreats to reconnect to your soul work. It’s not selfish. It’s healthy. Do this not in anger or pride but in love and respect for yourself. To all the moms young, old, and some place in between, I’m praying for you. We will rise, move mountains, and get through this together.