I blinked and this school year passed. I find myself telling our kids the very same phrases grownups told me when I was young.
Life moves quicker the older you get. Enjoy the moment, it is here and gone before you know it. Soak in the moment.
I’m sitting in this space of in between. I now have a high schooler, a middle schooler and an elementary student. Big chapters closed last week and we are in the phase of summer lingering.
In a few short weeks, my two oldest children will embark on some new big adventures. Caroline, our oldest, heads on a plane by herself to Honey Rock Camp in WI for three weeks. This camp, part of Wheaton College, had a monumental impact on my life as a college student. Caroline will be with other incoming freshmen for three weeks, learning about herself, her values/intentions and who she wants to be all while enjoying the amazing Northwoods!
When she was just a little toddler, I knew I wanted her to go to Honey Rock. I’m stunned with just how fast this day has gotten here. I keep thinking of my experience there–how my soul was filled to the brim while canoeing on the spirals of lakes and water. Matt and I head to get her in early July – I can’t wait to be back to see the camp and hear her stories.
Tobin heads to Eagle Lake overnight camp with four of his really good friends. This year they are doing Adventure 1 – rock rappelling, high ropes courses, tunneling and so much more.
Mixed in the summer are times with friends, other camps, babysitting jobs, and so much more.
For me, interspersed in this summer is a big letting go.
I’m caught in this bittersweet time of having a little one still–and trying to keep seeing the world through a second grader’s eyes while at the same time guiding and coaching my almost 15-year-old into a new world of freedom marked by other kid’s driving her (not parents) to social activities.
I see my two oldest children grow before my eyes. Not only in height but in spirit. They are spreading their wings and it’s my job to help them fly. As a mama, I want to hold them close and keep them safe.
A few nights ago Caroline was out with friends – a double feature drive in movie down in Pueblo. I woke up around 1 am with a start, got out the iPhone Find Me app, and was dismayed to see they were STILL in Pueblo at 1:30 am! Trying not to be “that mom” (you know, the one who has helicopter rotors swirling in their hair), I sent a quick text “Hey, hope you’re having fun. Text me when you’re back in the Springs.”
Then for the next 90 minutes I sat on our bathroom floor and watched the little iPhone icon inch its way back to the springs while I frantically prayed for protection over their car. I felt such angst as I sat there, knowing that this was exactly where she needed to be just as I needed to be where I was-finding change in my parenting. Instead of denying Caroline the experience, I had to let her go and trust that the work Matt and I have put in is enough. I had to trust that some insane drunk driver on Memorial Day weekend at 2 am wouldn’t be near my daughter’s car.
At 2:30 am a little ding when off, “Mama, we’re home.”
When I picked up Caroline from her friend’s house the next morning, I immediately hugged her and told her “THANK YOU for texting me.” She looked at me and said, “Sure” as if it was the only thing she would ever think to do.
I desperately want time to slow down. I want to soak in every bit of these next four years with my sweet Caroline. I want to treasure the new horizon called Middle School for Tobin. I want to NOT forget that my sweet Desta is JUST starting out on the adventure of Second Grade.
I want to not worry each minute of the day that something tragic will happen to my kids. I want to not worry that my children will succumb to depression, fear and anxiety. I want to keep them close and wish the world’s darkness stay far away. I don’t want them to experience pain, betrayal of friends, bouts of sadness and wounds of bitter and angry words.
However if I take my role seriously as a coach, I have to begin loosing my grip and letting them have these experiences.
Without wounding, one never knows the abundance of healing. Without the deep depth of pain, one never experiences the heights of joy.
So I adventure onward, towards a new “next step” filled with discovery of my children and most important, myself.