Tick, Tock...Where Does the Time Go?
Depending on where in the world you live, children may already be back in school. I have two teenagers, and they started back two weeks ago. Woo Hoo! Well, that’s normally what I’d say. This year, I'm not so sure…
My daughter is a Senior. And there is no way on earth I am ready for that. Last year, I had several friends in this position. All year long, I watched as they posted on social media and talked about looking for colleges and all that stuff. And I got a bit short of breath and reminded myself I was okay. Because she was a Junior. Can’t do that anymore. She’s going to graduate in June. And go out into the big, bad world. I. Am. Not. Ready.
Here’s the thing. Just yesterday, she was a busy toddler singing along with Elmo. Wasn’t she? It so feels that way. Where has time gone? Did I fall into a coma for a decade? No. All I did was blink. So, this is my warning to you if you have children at home. Don’t blink.
This past summer, she took a college course online through our school district. And she’s taking two in the fall, one on campus. My baby will be on a college campus! This girl has grown into a beautiful, independent young woman. And I am so not ready.
Even as I write this, my heart rate pushes into the triple digits. I’ve done my job raising her to know right from wrong. How to protect herself. How to make smart decisions. That’s what we do. We raise them so they can leave the nest. Sounds great in theory. But I've been out in that big, bad world for a long time. Longer than I care to admit. I know what happens. She’s not ready. I’m not ready.
So now I'm short of breath again. And I tell myself that millions of young people leave for college. And 99.9% of them are fine. Of course, they are. It’s the other .1% that I focus on. What if someone slips something in her drink? What if she doesn’t learn to balance work and play and flunks out? What if she joins a cult and I never see her again? Yes, those are the things I think about.
She will be okay. She will make mistakes, and that’s okay. Mistakes are how we learn. I’ve never been the type to wrap her in bubble wrap. She has her father for that. I've always been open and honest with her, so that she will be with me. She knows how much I love her and that I will always have her back. She will be okay. And so, will I. And so, will you.
And in the meantime, I have a son. He’s about to be a Sophomore who grew six inches and gained twenty pounds in the past year. And he’s learning to drive this summer. Have to remember to not blink this time.