Time – just please slow down. Or stop.
Summer is going way too fast. I have hardly had time to get used to the fact that it is June, let alone that it’s almost July.
So, allow me to get a little personal here – much more so than usual. I ask your forgiveness in advance, but it’s just my state of mind right now.
It all came to the surface yesterday when my nephew got his senior pictures back. His SENIOR pictures.
Be still my heart.
But here’s the thing. He’s not supposed to be a senior. He’s supposed to be a toddler. Or maybe just permanently in middle school. Not a senior.
My recent graduate selected his dorm move-in time yesterday morning. He rolled out of bed sleepily at 7:00 am to choose the optimal time to move into his new “home” on the UGA website.
But there is no optimal time. Because I am not ready. I’m just not. I cannot imagine that on August 6th, I will be driving home from Athens, Georgia WITHOUT him. I am just not ready.
And he’s my second born. So some say it should be easier this time around. But it’s not. I am in no way more prepared or more ready to launch him into the world this fall, than I was the first go round.
Now don’t get me wrong, HE is ready. And honestly – he is going to do so well. He is going to THRIVE!!! And I am so excited for him!! He’s going to be AWESOME at UGA.
But there is this small part of me that is truly grieving all the sweet and not-so-sweet daily moments that make up LIFE and have now suddenly come and gone like a vapor.
The daily things. The homework. The chores. The laundry. The meals. The sports. The practices. The friends. The music lessons. All the things. All the time spent doing those things with this one. It’s all gone. Its over. It’s like – what? Wait? How?
Time please slow down. Or just stop. Because you are just going too fast.
When they were little, all my sisters and I could think about was what it was going to be like – ONE DAY – FAR IN THE FUTURE – when they were all in high school together. We called them the “golden years” and thought about how much fun that would be to have a senior, a sophomore and a freshman together. All the memories they would make together and the experiences they would share.
But now, the oldest two have graduated. One will be graduating next year. And two others will follow in annual succession behind them. They are like dominoes. It hurts my heart. Please just stop.
But one of the benefits I have as a mom is that I work here at Brookstone. I spend my days at the place where they spend most of their time.
Truly – outside of home – where else do they spend as much time? No where! School.
So it has been my privilege to have this wonderful insight into the school that has built so much into them as young men and women during their formative years. After all, you choose a school to be a partner with you while raising your children. It takes an entire community of people pouring into our children to raise them well. And my husband and I could not have had a better school to partner with than Brookstone.
Is it a perfect school? No. Do I have perfect children? Far from it.
But it’s a great school – filled with great kids. And I wouldn’t want mine to be anywhere else.
Every day, I see the teachers interacting with our kids. I pass the teacher in the library who has meant so much to my son and has fostered his love of science. I see the coach who has encouraged my boys both on and off the field and I want to cry tears of gratitude for what he has meant to my family. I see the teacher who taught my son three years ago stop and give him a hug as he walks by her classroom. I see the older kids high-fiving the younger ones as they cross paths on the Quad. I see all of these beautiful fleeting moments that make up the larger experience. And it makes me so grateful.
Because these moments are so short-lived. These 18 years at home are gone in a blink. Everyone says that. Everyone “knows” that. But doesn’t change the roller-coaster reality of what it means when you are experiencing it. Time. Goes. So. Fast.
But one benefits of having one who has left home – is seeing the “end product,” if you will. Not that anyone is ever truly an end product. Our hope is that we have launched our graduates into a lifelong love of learning and personal growth. (And I think we do it oh-so-well!) But now having two graduates has allowed me a little glimpse into the “other side” of parenting. And it’s good.
It will be good. They will be good.
As my oldest says in response to anything and everything I say or ask, “It’s all good.”
And it is all good. Because, that’s the whole goal – to love and raise and teach our children so that they’ll become confident, independent, empathetic people who will lead and serve the next generation. That’s a really, really good thing.
So even as I try to capture all of these sweet passing moments, as I try to slow down and embrace the chaos, giving them as many hugs as they will allow, picking up yet another dirty sock or t-shirt left on the floor, or fixing the 20th PB&J sandwich for the day, I am so keenly aware of how quickly it comes and goes. And I continue to remind myself to take it all in. Take it all in. Because the whole point is to launch these precious kiddos into the world fully equipped to make it a better place.
And I know they will. I’m already seeing it happen.
So thank you, Brookstone, for coming alongside us to raise and shepherd our children into adulthood. As hard as it is to let them go, that is precisely what we are called to do.
And to my boys – all four of you – to my nephews and nieces – all five of you – an to all of our students – too many to count – you have an entire army of family and friends and teachers and coaches who will always be here for you, who have invested countless hours into you, who will love you and pray for you and stand ready to watch you grow. Never forget you are loved. Never forget we are here for you. And never forget those who have played a part in making you who you are.
Because you make us all so very proud.
Praying God’s richest blessings on all of you…