Recently my heart has become tender as I ponder the bitter-sweet truth of being a parent.
Our babies grow up.
On one hand, it is a thrill to see Baby reach milestones . We celebrate her very first step, the first word, the first loose tooth and the first day of school, among a long list of other “firsts”. Indeed, our child exponentially gains knowledge, skills, talents and personality beyond our wildest imagination. It is pure joy to watch the miracle of our creation in partnership with God!
And yet, on the other hand, there is a price which must be paid. The currency required is Time. A sadness softly creeps into my heart knowing as milestones are met and passed, they never return. The beloved pacifier and blankie are left behind for toys, and play-dates. These are then discarded for car keys, prom dresses and first-dates. As the fingerprints and smudges disappear from our home, the shiny glass and walls left behind seem hollow and empty.
We turn around, and discover our babies are grown and heading off on their own. This conundrum is called “the Circle of Life”. It is part of a grand plan of God for us to be born, to grow, to live and to die. And yet, no matter how necessary or logical, the process is never easy. Especially on a mother’s heart.
The difficulty of experiencing a major “season change” has become very personal recently. In a few short weeks I will be placing my own little child in the car and then driving her to another city where I will help her move her things into a dorm room, and then be expected to kiss her goodbye, and drive away.
In that brief moment, our family and our life as we know it will change forever. I have reached a chapter which I yearn to keep writing, but soon must close.
Of course, I feel boundless joy in celebrating my child’s great achievements. She has soaring hopes, amazing dreams, and a bright future! She’s beautiful and vibrant and eager to spread her wings. She’s ready and capable to fly. What more could a mother hope for?
And yet, I feel a heavy tug at my heart which threatens to break my resolve to be a reasonable and rational mother, and just lock her tightly away in a tower!
I know the circle of life will continue to turn, no matter how hard I may try to stop it. Therefore, every moment I have between this day, and that fast approaching day in August is priceless. These are days to be treasured, savored and never forgotten. Oh, how I wish I could have internalized this perspective the moment she arrived eighteen years ago, when all six pounds nine ounces of her was gently placed into my arms. I imagined then that there would be oodles of time together. So, I wasn’t careful enough, and I turned around.
Note: The song “Turn Around” was written in 1959 by Harry Belafonte, Alan Greene, and Malvina Reynolds.