As I ponder the new school year approaching, I am beginning to feel my heart beat a bit faster, for this means that time has moved forward and at quite a fast pace.
Fourteen years ago, I found out I was having identical twins (the youngest of the bunch), and many thoughts entered my mind. But one particular thought has lingered for many years. The 2020-2021 school year will be the year all four of my daughters will be in high school together!
This heart of mine has been doing some serious reflecting on life, motherhood, and the girls. As my mind races to the thought of my twins entering high school, one daughter a Junior, and my eldest entering her Senior year, I keep having flashbacks to the first day of Kindergarten.
Like a snapshot in time, I see each of them individually, hair neatly brushed, donning a cute outfit and showing off their big girl backpack with great pride. With a toothless smile, these grown-up Kindergartners pose for the iconic first day of school photo. This is the snapshot memory that keeps coming back to me.
Aside from the smiles, there were also tears. Who can forget the tears? Tears of excitement, tears from the ones left behind missing their sister, and tears from me, their mama, as I watched a little girl, filled with excitement, stomp up the large stairs of the school bus and wave with pure joy as she walked towards her seat.
Visions of the past and the future seem to ooze together, creating a timeline that plays out like an old family video. The movie wheel keeps moving forward. The girls move forward, and I think I do too, but am I really? Am I stuck on pause, frantically pressing rewind while also trying to fast forward to see how the story goes?
But you see, I want to cherish this story and enjoy each moment. I will continue to watch in awe as four young women embark on an adventure and continue their journey of life.
Ironically, my mind keeps going back in time but I truly am excited about the present day and the future. Maybe these flashbacks are examples of another chapter, and with each new chapter, reflection is needed. Or perhaps the memories allow me to appreciate their growth, relish in the challenges and what has been overcome, cherish the simplicity of joyous moments, and embrace the time the girls are all still home, leaning on each other daily.
The process of becoming a mom is scary yet also inspiring. Daily, I am simply trying my best, never truly knowing if what I’m doing or saying is the right thing to do. Every day is new, and each day provides new challenges throughout each stage of motherhood.
My goal, as a mom, is to educate them about the world, cultivate kindness, laughter, and guide them along the path of being a good person. There are plenty of times, more than I like to admit, where I have not taken the higher ground, lost my cool and yelled over ridiculous things. But, let’s remember, we are human, and motherhood is learning about ourselves and moving forward.
So now, as I sit here in the last few weeks of summer, my visions for my eldest are all over the place. My movie wheel ranges from the tears of Kindergarten to a teenage driver, sippy cups of milk to long discussions about the dangers of binge drinking and listening to one’s gut instincts, needing mama’s perfume sprayed on wrists to get through the school day to a young woman now entering her senior year of high school, filling out college applications and creating her own adult memories.
These visions bring me peace and comfort. I am not threatened by her growing independence or want to go back in time. Rather, I’m proud of the woman I have raised who lives life with a spirit-filled spunk, a remarkable work ethic, kindness, and a real sense of self. For this, my heart again beats a bit faster.
As my eldest embarks on her journey, guiding her four sisters through high school and beyond, challenging me to be a better mom daily and making me laugh, I only hope to catch the sweet smell of her perfume as she walks out the door. A sweet scent that lingers in the air to remind me she is always with me, similar to the first days of Kindergarten when she needed to know I was there with her.
Time is funny in that way, and roles reverse, but like the movie wheel, we have to keep moving forward and not get stuck on pause.