"This, too, shall pass."
A phrase that is used all the time, especially in relation to bad things. I try to remember this when I am going through a really hard time in my life. When my daughter, A, has been unexpectedly hospitalized (like when her lungs collapsed, or her neck broke), I repeat that phrase over and over to myself. I realize that while things may look dark and awful at the moment, one day I'll be able to look back, and while I may not smile, I won't focus on the hard moments.
The thing is, the phrase also applies to the good times. All things, both good and bad, pass with time.
Yesterday was my kids' last day of school. I now have a newly minted 5th grader and 2nd grader. This coming year will be my son, D's, last year in elementary school. One more year and he'll be in middle school. Additionally, my daughter had her bridging ceremony in Girl Scouts last weekend, so now instead of Daisy she's a Brownie. It's weird for me to see her in a brown uniform instead of blue!
I remember clearly one winter day, when D was 5 years old, and in preschool. D and I were at our local park, which is right next to the elementary school. (A was at home with our nurse). The next year D would be heading to kindergarten, so I wanted to go into the school office to ask when kindergarten registration was. D was too scared to go on the school grounds---he was crying that there were too many big kids there. I agreed to wait until after school was over, so we did. It was only when the school was cleared of kids that D felt comfortable being there.
Now, D is a 5th grader, at the top of the student heap. Where did the time go?
I've written before how I mourn the passage of time. Even when D was an infant, STILL IN THE HOSPITAL at 3 days old, I was upset at how quickly time was ticking away. Now he's 10, and I only have him for 8 more years before he leaves home for college. Of course, the older both kids get, the better it gets---I love the individual relationships I have fostered with both my son and daughter, relationships that only happen with their growth and their maturity. I don't REALLY miss the days of nursing and diapers and swaddling---yet sometimes I do.
Life is made up of moments, good and bad. I can think back on my son's life and images, like a movie, play on my mind. Running races with him, going to plays, reading books, temper tantrums, time-outs, cooking with him, legos. Likewise with my daughter, I think of reading, going out to coffee, her tracheostomy, hospital stays, the American Girl store, painting our nails. Too many images to write, and certainly more life experiences that happened that I can't remember. And I desperately want to remember it all. The good and the bad. The hard times and the amazing times. I don't scrapbook anymore, which is a shame, as I would love a visual reminder of my years of early motherhood once my children are grown.
There are certain markers in life that clearly delineate the passage of time. Going from grade to grade, then elementary to middle and high schools. Testing from one belt to another in karate. Going from Daisies to Brownies (and then Juniors, and beyond, in Girl Scouts). Racing a kids' 1/4 mile race, graduating to the mile, then running 5ks, and now contemplating a 10k. At each marker I celebrate with joy, tempered with an undercurrent of bittersweetness. Each stage marks something new and exciting, while marking the end of something else.
Looking forward to this summer to regroup my feelings; then I'll be able to fully embrace the new.
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