We have just finished the season of celebrating the end. End of preschool. End of elementary. Middle. High school and beyond. We have gone to various celebrations, graduations, clap-outs, parties, and farewells. We have hugged and laughed and cried. Remembered and forgot what we now remember. Wondered how time went so fast and how fast it will continue to go. Tried to hold on…to the memories. To the feelings. To the love.
But as we continue to look back, I can’t help but look forward. I think we are conditioned as mothers, whether by nature or nurture or social media to mourn the passing of time. We do it right from the start:
“Awwwwwww I miss that he is no longer in a newborn diaper”
“Gosh, remember when he could only crawl”
“Oh I hate that she no longer needs me to push her on the swing”
We continuously lament over days gone by.
But yet, there is SO MUCH HAPPENING right now. No matter what end you just celebrated. These babies will only be in this end before starting a new beginning for just a moment. Because the next phase, no matter how much we want it to wait, is coming at us fast and furious.
So I have promised myself that this summer, I will try so hard to live in the now. To celebrate all the great things that my 13-year-old will only be doing this summer and that my 12-year-old will only love this summer and that my three-year-old will only have interest in this summer. I have promised myself to not look back to days gone by or ahead to that not-so-distant future.
So I will splash in the rough ocean on vacay with the bigs and frolic in the bay with the littlest and savor every splash and every wave and every laugh. I will go down the biggest water slide with the teens and catch the baby as she navigates the small ones reveling in the pure joy of both.
I will enjoy watching my 12-year-old savor her sushi and my oldest devour his pasta while the littlest chomps on pizza, trying to live right in the smells and the sounds and the sights. I will stay up late to watch a scary movie and get up early to watch a Princess show, but really just watch the babies’ reactions and expressions throughout. I will be present for all the things. I won’t waste one thought on sadness for what was or predictions of what might be.
I will truly live in the present.
And I will also begin to accept and excitedly anticipate that there is still so much good to experience. I mean, so much! First dates and proms. College acceptances and High School Graduations. And, dare I say it, and hope it is a long, long time from now, but careers and weddings and grandbabies. There truly is so much left to enjoy, to experience, and to enthuse over!
So, sure, my son will never be in middle school ever again. But he survived! And yes, my middle child will never dress up as a princess when we go out to dinner, but she may act on a stage one day! And the baby, she may never sit in a stroller again, but she will run through all the places we go soaking it all up!
Living in the moment is SO HARD but also SO WORTH IT. So, Mamas, join me on this summer adventure of celebrating the end and the beginning by being right in the now.