You’re a JUNIOR. Seriously. Stop it.
That’s what I posted on my sixteen-and-a-half-year-old daughter’s Facebook page on her last day of school of being a sophomore.
It’s killing me.
This has been a year of firsts for her: her driver’s license, her first date, deciding to go on a mission trip.
The crazy thing is, I remember being sixteen-and-a-half. I remember getting my license. I remember my first date. I remember deciding to go on my first mission trip (then again, I was thirty-eight, so I should be able to remember that).
And now my baby is getting postcards from colleges trying to woo her to them, to which I think, “Back off, Fill-in-the-Blank College, she’s mine.”
I have been bemoaning time flying since my children were toddlers, but at the ripe old age of forty-two I am beginning to see the beauty of aging. Something gorgeous is happening. I have the great benefit of looking back over many, many years – and in this specific case – over the full lives of my two children and seeing their story from beginning to now. I can see the hand of God on their lives. I can see answered prayer. I can see things that I was so freaked out about and how God and time untangled it all. I can see how they’ve grown and changed and yet stayed fundamentally the person who they already were deep down when I held them the first time (my daughter, screaming and telling the world who she was; and my son, just taking it all in, all chill, like ‘hey mom, what’s up?’).
Don’t get me wrong, I still want time to slow down. (Like if I could halt it in this moment, I so totally would.) I still don’t want my kids to leave this house and go out on their own (though, don’t worry, I do really know my main parental job is to prepare them to leave and then to let them go, all the while acting like it’s not torturous). But I want them to stay just as they are for a few more minutes, hours, days, months, years.
But we can’t, can we? We must let our sweet ones go. As we come to a close of another year, I bet we have all said something like, “I cannot believe how fast this year went…” We are all looking back on speeding time and we are all looking ahead wishing, wistfully, that we could slow it down. But the show must go on. Our kids must go on. And we must let them.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing. Ecclesiastes 3:1-5
Are your kids headed into a new season? How are you handling the growth? What advice would you give to other moms struggling to let go?