And, in a wink of the eye it is over. But, that isn’t really true is it? Before the Miramonte Senior Ball I attended a party hosted for my daughters group of friends. The party was for the sole purpose of allowing the parents to take pictures.
It was a beautiful day, the girls were lovely in their white and lavender gowns, the boys in black tuxedos beneath the dabbled sunlight of a majestic oak tree. There was a poignant moment when I watched my daughter being pushed in a tire swing by her childhood friend. They looked exactly as they did at six, and again at twelve, and now they are no different. They were laughing as the warm afternoon sunshine fell on their shoulders.
I remember thinking that it was important to separate the people who were at their last Senior Ball party from those with younger children still at home. It was as if the day was an entirely different experience for those of us who would never be here again. As I did this in my mind, I thought how often we cling to these moments without thought to what is next. I didn’t want to have tears in my eyes over this occasion and its ending, but instead to think of what this moment really meant. It was a doorway into our future; one of college graduations, weddings and grandchildren. I was so grateful to be there and from that perspective I observed the bright and happy smiles, and the shear joy of those moments underneath the oak trees in a different light.
As I walked through the crowd of parents snapping pictures, I heard several times how fast it had all gone by. Yet, I wonder if it really did. I think back to the millions of moments it took to be here, and clearly it wasn’t just yesterday that they were small. It was actually a very long time ago.
Our Lamorinda community has some sweet traditions and one of them is to take a group picture with the kids that went to grade school together. On this occasion, the hosts also had a bench made for a grade school fundraiser and many of the kids could find their name and the tile they made in that mosaic.
When we think it has gone by in a wink we negate our contribution as parents, the many sleepless nights, the countless school lunches we packed, the homework we helped with, the hours of volunteering, the school forms and nonstop events, and hundreds of trips to the pool or soccer field. Raising children is not easy it is a devotion in selflessness. It is often grueling while at the same time being ultimately the most rewarding experience any of us will ever have. With our words we create the idea in our children that raising a child is easy and it goes by quickly, and before you know it. It does not.
My daughters are twenty-two months apart. When I decided to stay home with my baby and two year old I was unprepared for the shear amount of work involved. There were days when I couldn’t wait for my husband to come home from work. My girls were not sleepers and they were a barrel-full-of-monkeys all day long. Those days went by at a snails pace. Time has sped up of course, and now here we are. I could not be happier and more grateful for the millions of precious moments raising my children has afforded me. And, how I have changed and grown as a person along with them. Being a mother has taught me patience, unconditional love and selflessness. Undoubtedly, I am a finer and better person for this experience.
It has been a joy to watch so many beautiful kids turn into young adults. It was an honor to be standing there with my camera snapping pictures of my daughter, her date, and friends. It also made me think I really need a tire swing for my future grandkids.
Love and blessings to all.