This morning as I drove through my neighborhood, I observed the trees that line the streets. When did these trees grow to be so big? I said to no one.
A large portion of my life is spent looking ahead; at the road while driving my car, at the soccer field where my youngest daughter plays, and through the camera lens while photographing important moments. But on this particular day, I shifted my gaze to the right of my well-traveled neighborhood streets. God, when did these trees get so big?
My eldest daughter recently finished her junior year of high school a few weeks ago. That means the year she has been looking forward to since kindergarten has arrived. That also means the year I’ve been dreading since she went to kindergarten is finally here.
I’ve written about being “in the thick of it” when it comes to parenting children. In the thick of it, I was stressed out, tired, complaining a lot, overworked, ready to be out of “the thick of it.” I hadn’t had therapy, I was convinced I wasn’t a good person, so motherhood was sometimes too much for me. I was also doing a lot of the parenting by myself.
I now wish I had cherished my children more when we were “in the thick of it.”
The high school bus passed down the street this morning as we were going through our morning routine, and I had a brief moment to reflect on “kids” who had just graduated high school. I knew a lot of those “kids” who played dress-up in our basement, ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on our back patio, and who traded fruit chews on our front stoop.
They no longer ride the school bus that passes by our house every day. I remember when that bus took Anna to school. This was eventually replaced with riding to school with friends. That was then replaced by driving herself to school.
I’ll miss the commotion. I’ll miss the mess. I’ll miss the hustle and bustle of it all.
I know I have many years remaining in the mothering part of my motherhood gig, but this time, I will take it all in a little more.
Those trees grow so quickly.