By Casey Hoskins
Here we are, at the end of another school year, excited for the break in routine. At least, that is what it normally is for me but not this year. The end of this school year brings something entirely different.
How often have you looked at your kids and thought, “I can’t wait for this stage to be over with”, or “I can’t believe you’re already *insert age here*”? Too many times to count, right? When I was a young mom I heard the phrase slowly and all the sudden and I thought it was an odd thing to say. It stuck with me though, and as my kids got older I realized what it meant. I look at my oldest, living on her own, working as a preschool teacher and think of that phrase often. High school was not an easy go for that kid, nor for her parents, and it felt excruciatingly long at times. Now I wonder how it flew by and if I was present enough for it. That same feeling is happening again. Our second one is not only graduating but literally taking off to somewhere new within a week of getting her diploma.
It is a beautiful feeling, knowing you had a positive impact on your child’s life. Humbling actually. I look at my redhead and see all the adventures we had together, all the smiles, all the hugs, and all the times I wish I had done a better job in that moment. We played in the rain one afternoon when she was in 5th grade and it felt good to be a kid along with her. Now she gets to be an adult along with me. What a strange feeling. Unlike her siblings, who plan to stay near their parents (at least in the same state), this one is leaving the nest with a determined spirit and adventure in her heart. All I can think about is how fast it all went and wonder if I took enough pictures.
This summer is going to bring sleepless nights, some worry, and time. Time to spend with my youngest, making sure we do all the things on his summer bucket list. Time to do some of the things on my “improving the building” list. Time to do some hiking. It isn’t that I didn’t have this time before my second one graduated, it is that she is out there making the most of hers, so I should be doing the same.
Slowly and with intent is how we started as parents, progressing into a busy season with all the kid stuff and then suddenly it is time for them to move ahead with us on the sidelines. Slowly and all the sudden.