This week was a first for me. I have done so well talking a good game of how our children are not really ours to begin with. They are God’s. He purposed them to be and he has a plan for them that far outlasts the time I have to influence them. This week my words were put to the test as I watched my son walk out the door with his fellow kindergarteners into a new world. Little by little, I am having to let go and allow them to live out their purpose outside of my time with them.
Our school district has a program in the summer where the kids go to school for three hours a day, five days a week, for three weeks. It gives them the chance to get to know the kindergarten teachers and meet some of their classmates in preparation for the fall. I think it is a wonderful idea, but for the first time I watched him walk away with the classmates he will be with for years to come.
I did well. No tears. Well, no tears until I was listening to the radio and Nichole Nordeman’s song “Slow Down” came on. Then, the tears fell. Oh, how I want time to slow down. Right now he still snuggles with me. He slips his little hand into mine. I am his confidant. His innocence is still preserved. Very quickly all of that is going to change.
I longed for so many years to hear a little voice call me “Mommy” and for my need to nurture to be fulfilled. When Turkey-Man came into our life, it was everything I dreamed it would be. I can remember doing laundry at 10 p.m. the night we came home from the hospital. I cried tears of joy because I had a child that needed me to do a load of laundry.
And, now, here we are. I have moved beyond crying tears of joy over laundry, but I still love to fulfill his need for me. Slowly he will be needing less and less of me. This week the realization hit that he is school age. For six hours a day he will be gone. Someone else will be caring for him. As a stay at home mom that is a tough pill to swallow. I have been his everything and now I will be sharing that role with his teacher.
Time needs to slow down. He needs to stay little just a while longer. I know that God has a plan for him beyond me, but I am not ready to just let go and watch him grow into the man God needs him to be. I am not ready for him to stop being so little. I look forward to seeing him grow up and who he will become, just not quite yet.
I have been told countless times to enjoy my children being little because it is gone in the blink of an eye. The three year old tantrum phase never seems like it is going to end, but suddenly they are walking out the door with fellow kindergarteners. How does that happen?
As much as I want time to slow down I know it won’t. The only thing I can slow down is me. As the realization of Turkey-Man becoming a kindergartener has loomed, I have really paused to savor the moments we have together. I try not dampen each interaction by worrying about how much longer I have to enjoy his innocence, but there is certainly an awareness that these times are limited.
If you have a little one at home, squeeze them a little tighter today. If you are in the midst of the toddler years and each day is a struggle to get through, take a deep breath. This won’t last forever. In the blink of an eye kindergarten will be here.
I won’t tell you to savor every moment. Some moments are simply not enjoyable. But, the ones that warm your heart are fleeting. As much as we want to hold tightly to those occasions and make them last forever, time won’t slow down.
The only thing we can slow down is us. Pause and be present. Savor the time. All too soon, they walking out the door and we are left fighting the tears wondering how we got her so fast. I know I am!