Time seems to go by way too fast… we don’t feel how quickly it is moving while we are in the middle of it…it is only afterwards that its speed is felt.
This thought popped into my head as others flew around it, one night, during a recent restless sleep. Given that we are in the height of the season of graduations, many of you might be feeling the same sentiments? “How did we get here?” you mutter to yourself as you gaze upon your graduate who has seemingly grown overnight into the young adult standing before you. Of course, you probably muttered this sentiment before; as you were about to give them the car keys for their first solo journey, or as you snapped their photo as they were about to head out to their first prom… with a date, their first day of work at a part time job, and so on.
These moments of realization that you child is growing up occur all throughout this journey.
From their first Christmas photo sitting up by themselves…
to their first day of Kindergarten.
From their first sports team photo…
to their last.
From their days of being daddy’s little girl (they will always be daddy’s little girl)…
to their High School Graduation.
Somewhere along the line from childhood to adulthood though, a switch seems to flip, and all of those minuscule minutes that seemed to tick by so slowly, stick together to become a large mass of years. One not really standing apart from another unless there was a birth, a marriage, a death or another such huge life changing occurrence.
The years of our family in their younger stages were ones of joy if not chaos. Of figuring it all out, of balancing work with family and then balancing the tedium of a stay at home mom. Years of survival for lack of a better word. As we watched home movies last Christmas, our children stated as they viewed the images on screen of their younger selves, “How did you do that day after day?” I vividly remember, standing in my kitchen talking to one of our next door neighbors whose older children babysat mine, as she told me that I would miss these years when my children were older. I also remember that as she was speaking, Cameron, the baby at the time, was crying loudly, the TV was echoing Barney’s “clean up, clean up, clean up everybody do your share” and one…or two of the boys were jumping off the kitchen counter. I think I was staring at her with glazed over eyes, nodding my head to placate her sentiments while secretly thinking that… she was crazy. Miss these years??? Never! I could not wait to get out of them. Patty…I am out of them now…and I miss them.
Those years that seemed like they took forever to get through have passed and the years that took us to this moment seem like they transpired in the matter of a month. As I perused the audience of black gowned, capped students, trying to find my own daughter, my eyes glazed over as I realized that it was four years ago that my husband and I sat in this hall upon attending a lecture when we dropped off this fledgling college student at her orientation.
FOUR YEARS have passed, I thought?
FOUR YEARS??? How can that be? What I am about to write is so cliche but oh so true…It seems like yesterday that we moved her into her first dorm. Maybe that is why that saying IS so cliche…it is so very true. In all reality, that ceremony represented the passing of twenty two years of a life grown into one that is about to branch out, truly on her own wings. A life of which we are incredibly proud of and a daughter who we love beyond measure. My focus was brought back to the Baccalaureate speaker who was so eloquently breaking the ice of all the emotions going on in that room, with humor of course. “Some of the graduates are graduating today, suma cum laude, some are graduating magna cum laude, some are graduating cum laude and some are just graduating today, thank the lorde.”
The tension of the room broke as the nervous twitter turned into laughter, laughter that heralded such an occasion as a college graduation. As many of you celebrate the season of the Graduation in whatever form that may be; Preschool, Kindergarten, Middle School, High School, College, Graduate School, may we try to not mourn the years that have passed but celebrate in the possibility of what the upcoming years will bring.
May we try to live in the moment of those years and not worry about what they may bring (to you moms out there…we will always worry) so forget about that line. Again the lines of the speaker, Jonathan I. Walton, resound in my head as he advised the graduates who are to become “architects of the future standing upon the shoulders of their parents, keep your heart…class of 2015…keep your heart.”
As I was writing this post, I looked up graduation quotes to use and found none that really spoke to me except the few that spoke about how amazed some graduates were at the seeing their parents cry as they walked across a stage. That seemed a little extreme thought some. That walk across the stage, dear graduate, symbolizes the walk across the years of your parents lives that you have made, your impact on them and your connectedness and their letting go. Be kind to them and realize that their tears of emotion may come from wells of different meaning …relief that you made it through, disbelief that you made it through, relief that you will soon no longer be on their monthly bill ledger AND the LOVE that they have for you.
Congratulations to all the graduates of 2015~
May your futures be grounded in heart… thinking with it, feeling it and living in the moment through it. We know yours will be dear daughter.
~ xo Meg