I teach people to live in the present, appreciating today rather than ruminating about the past. But for me this has been a week of reflection. Which is alright, really. As long as we don’t get stuck in the past, some reflection can be a good thing.
This past Friday my daughter finished up her seventh grade year in middle school and my son graduated from elementary school. When I was young there was no such thing as an elementary school graduation. Graduations were saved for high school and college. Although the graduation was one of hopefully many, it was significant. It was the end of an era. Bittersweet.
No more little kids. No more children in elementary school. Gone forever. It seems like just yesterday I put them on the school bus for the first time. Name tags, backpacks, and off to kindergarten. What a big day! My kids will no longer be as eager for me to join them at school for lunch, chaperone field trips, and help at school parties. But that’s okay. They are growing more independent everyday. They are growing up. Bittersweet.
Sunday, as you all know, was father’s day. My husband and my son spent most of the weekend surfing together. Male bonding time. My husband said it was a weekend that my son would never forget. I know that it was a weekend neither of them will ever forget.
Both of my kids gave my husband their own personal artwork for father’s day. Their artwork is amazing! I am so glad that they have not outgrown making their own gifts for their dad. Those are the best kind of gifts. Handmade gifts made from pure love. My husband will hang the pictures on the wall in his home office next to the priceless other pictures that they have been giving him since the time they learned to draw. It has become a wonderful collection.
Yesterday, my kids both left to go on a trip with their grandparents. I reflect on how quickly the time is passing. I look down at the new gray in my golden retriever’s face. I look at my own gray beginning to come in. Walking outside, I can’t help but notice the size of the hydrangea and remember my small children planting the long ago tiny flower. Both the plant and the kids are so big now. With the kids out-of-town, my house is quiet. Will it really be like this everyday when they move out? Too sad for me to think about right now. I am not ready to go there yet. I don’t have to. Bittersweet.
So I tell my husband last night that our job as parents is to prepare our children to live independently without us. To push them out of the nest one baby step at a time. To give them roots and wings. And when the time comes nudge them to fly. But this is so difficult to do when all I want to do is pull them closer to me. Bittersweet.
Today is my husband’s forty-eighth birthday. Happy Birthday, Mitch! We both reflect back on the big time we had when he turned thirty. Where does the time go? Eighteen years ago? Really?
In two days, my husband and I will celebrate our fifteenth wedding anniversary. It has been fifteen good years. Don’t get me wrong, we have had our ups and downs, but the growth that we have made as a couple has been tremendous. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that good relationships don’t require work, because they do. Very hard work- but it is all worth it!
I think back to our wedding day, June 20, 1998. It was 102 degrees that day and the air conditioning at the church was broken. We later arrived at the reception facility to find that the air conditioning was broken there too. My husband and I were too elated to care. I probably can’t say the same for some of the guests. It was HOT! People were sweaty. But we had a wonderful time. My grandmother was there, my husband’s grandmother was there, my husband’s father married us. They are all in heaven now. Where does the time go? Bittersweet.
I am so fortunate for all of the blessings in my life. The wonderful times and the wonderful people. Thank you for joining me as I ramble and reflect on past eras. Now it is time again to stop and enjoy the era that I am in before it, too, is past. Bittersweet.
Enjoy the day, enjoy the journey!