Why is it that when we’re at work the time just drags by, but when it comes to our kids it just flies?
As the school year winds down, I am flooded with emotions, which – I’m quite sure – every mom is. We watch with disbelief as our babies become young men and women. We reminisce about the past, and feel a complex mixture of emotions. We long for their innocence and carefree spirits to return, yet we stand in awe of their newly-forming maturity and responsibility.
I still remember the day, 14 years ago, that Gerald was born. He was a perfect little seven pound, fifteen ounce miracle.
And the day that Ronald, my baby boy, made his tiny six pound, thirteen ounce entry into our family…
And even still the time when, literally, overnight, I went from having only two kids to four! Marrying Eugene and blending our families was both the greatest and most difficult thing we’ve ever done.
I get teary-eyed even now as I think of the day we took Gerald to meet his kindergarten teacher, Ronald following his every move through the classroom, wanting to be just like his big brother. I just couldn’t believe that I had a child who was old enough for school already!
It’s bittersweet as I recall Ronald’s graduation from preschool, when he just couldn’t wait to start “big school” that fall.
As much as I’ve tried to slow down their rush to grow up, I have to admit that I’m fascinated and in awe of seeing their personalities develop and character build.
I’ve watched this year as my step-son’s focus has changed from that of an elementary schooler whose hardest decision in life is what snack to take for lunch to how to start choosing friends wisely.
And I’ve been simultaneously terrified and amazed at my step-daughter’s transition from a carefree tomboy to an actual, real little girl. She’s begun stressing over what she should wear and how her hair looks. Trying to calm Daddy down and keep him from having a nervous breakdown has been a chore for me in and of itself!
Ronald will be starting seventh grade in the fall, and if any of you have had a seventh grader, you know that means I’m in for a LOT of hard work, heartache, and a tremendous need for patience! As is the case with most kids this age, he’s having to learn to balance school with popularity and a social life – all while being completely managed by out-of-control hormones, causing him to feel every range of emotions within a span of five minutes!
And finally, we move to Gerald… Gerald, who just attended his eighth grade dance. With a girl! Okay, now it’s my turn to have the nervous breakdown! I still can’t believe that he starts high school in the fall. While it’s terrifying to see him mature and become a man, I’m in complete awe of the maturity and responsibility he’s learning. I’m learning what a fine line there is between being a disciplinarian and a confidante and friend. And I’m seeing firsthand how difficult it is trying to balance on that line without falling too far to either side. As parents, we can only hope and pray that we’re raising them to be responsible and be Godly young men and women who will make good decisions once they’re out of our sight.
So, parents, as this school year wraps up and our children continue to grow up far too quickly, know this: You are not alone! You are not the only parent who’s constantly wondering if you’re doing a good job with your kids, and you’re certainly not the only parent who’s terrified of failing. Remember, we’re all doing the best we can with the tools we have. And also remember – our kids love us. They love us despite our rules and mistakes and uncertainty.
We all know how time flies as we watch our children grow up, so I’ll leave you with this – Cherish every second of being a parent… every second of the joys, the accomplishments, the milestones, and yes – even the fights, the arguments, and the trials. We’ll never get another chance to raise our children, so keep doing the best you can, and treasure it even when you want to give up. We all want to throw in the towel at times. I can assure you that you’re not alone in that. But let’s just choose to hold on to the time that we do have, even when it’s flying by.