The Next Big Step
One of my mom friends called me the other day with true sorrow in her voice. “It’s that time of year,” she moaned and I knew this wasn’t about spring cleaning because we both love going through our closets and pantries. Organic or homemade window cleaner is in our veins.
“What’s wrong?” I asked. “I just realized that there are only four weeks of school left, which means Wyatt will be leaving elementary school. He’s almost in junior high, Vicki! Where did the time go?” she said in a wistful tone.
I knew it was one of those happy-sad mom moments. As mothers, we’re thrilled to see our children achieve and get to the next level. We’re right by their sides helping, supporting, lifting and loving as we nudge them towards their bright and happy futures. There is just something about the bigger passages — a graduation, the next level of school, a big birthday (12 to 13 signally the teen years) or an acceptance into college that creates a little stir within us because of the passage of time.
Yes, your precious child is now in (gasp) junior high or (gulp) high school or (big sigh) college! You daughter just got her period; your little boy has facial hair. How is it that the time is moving along so quickly? The truth is that time does move fast. There’s something on the Internet these days telling moms that you only have 936 weekends before your child grows up. I think the key is to remember that time is moving quickly, and to truly savor the moments. What did you do last weekend to make it count? What will you do next weekend? Instead of feeling sad that there are only a few weeks left of this school year, vow to do something special to mark those days.
Instead of feeling wistful that your baby is now in high school plan to do something in the next week where she will say someday, “Remember when I was in high school and we took that car trip?” I heard an amazing story of a mother whose daughter was striving hard to get into Yale University. Finally, the big day arrived when Yale emailed their answer (yes, it’s done via the Internet these days). Instead of running to the computer to find out the next BIG step, mom and daughter decided to take one hour and go out to lunch. It wasn’t a fancy lunch, but they sat, talked, laughed, teared up and then took a little walk around a local park. It was almost as if time was suspended as they just enjoyed that time together when the future was still a big question mark. Then they were ready. They drove home. As they walked through that familiar front door, they hugged and the daughter raced over to the computer. Yes, she was accepted.
That was ten years ago, and now she’s a Yale graduate who still talks about that big day when her mom took her out to lunch.
Time passes, but what’s remembered of that time is up to you.