19 Jan
Posted in: parenting
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In a Blink

children walking in a forest

Last week I registered our third son for middle school for next school year. Four years ago when I sat at my computer and registered our oldest son for middle school, I cried. I was worried about the unknown. We have several middle schools to choose from, and I was worried the one we picked would end up being a poor fit. I knew he was ready for something other than elementary school, but wasn’t quite sure what that even meant or looked like. The unknowns of the situation combined with my first-born being old enough to make that transition was overwhelming.

Fast forward to last week. I still cried after I finished registration, but for very different reasons. We’ve had at least one child at the middle school we initially chose for four years. It’s been better than expected, and my worries were unfounded. That next level after elementary school has been wonderful for our two oldest boys. My tears come from being a lot wiser than I was four years ago. Registering a child for middle school is akin to pushing the fast forward button. Registering for high school is double time. I know now how fast this portion of child-rearing flies by. In a blink.

Our oldest completes his first semester of high school this week. I haven’t an inkling where that semester went. His sister is finishing her first half of 2nd grade, and her year doesn’t seem nearly as fast. Time is weird. With middle school comes more freedom. They’re away more with after school activities. High school has our oldest away from us most of the day. The year seems fast because less of his life relies upon me. I can’t imagine what him having his driver’s license next year will do on my heart when there’s one less thing he needs me to do for him.

Even as I struggle with the letting go of motherhood, I rejoice for the excitement I see in our older children as they test their new freedom. Sometimes I’ll watch my oldest handle a situation and want to shout for joy at how competent he can be. Hallelujah! Those years of saying and showing the same things over and over and over actually stuck. I also love the moments he can’t find his way through a situation and calls me in for help.

I look at my 5th grader, who cannot wait to be just like his big brothers, and smile because he’s going to grow so very much these next few years, physically, emotionally and mentally. The ride is a roller coaster. I’ve ceased to be surprised at the dips and turns, but the ride is magical. I’ve watched these babies learn everything over the last 15 years and am so thankful for the gift it has been. I’m grateful for all the yeses we said when they were younger, and the adventures we had before their independent lives and schedules had to be seriously taken into consideration.

A friend with toddlers told me she was glad that she had a long time before she’d be in my shoes. I smiled because I remember being that younger woman. I vividly remember how long some days felt with multiple children in diapers, but there comes a point, for me it was middle school, where days no longer drag. It’s all too quick, and my breath catches at the speed of it all. In a blink.

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