We interrupt our regularly scheduled DIY blogging to bring you this sentimental post.
With my youngest daughter finishing kindergarten, and my oldest stepdaughter graduating from high school, it suddenly hit me like a ton of bricks when I was watching my youngest twirl with her friends on her last day of school.
When it comes to the time you have with your children, time never stops, in fact it flies at light speed.
I met my hub and his three year old girl in 1995, and that little angel crawled up on my lap and completely stole my heart. Over the years, I’ve been blessed to watch her grow from a toddler to a full grown adult, and all it happened in the blink of an eye.
Fortunate for me, as a stepparent, I’ve been able to experience so much of what comes with the joys of parenting.
I was there when she brought her first pet home with all the promises that she would care for it always, forever and ever, every day.
The cat ran away two weeks later, and we never saw it again.
But then there was a guinea pig, with all the same promises.
And then there was a dog, with all the same promises.
Yes, we indulged her, fully aware that we were the ones who’d care for the family pet most of the time.
I’ve watched her play multiple seasons and countless hours of sporting events from middle school through her senior year, even carrying her team to the regional championship this year.
I’ve been there for the homework, the school projects, even the report on Albert Einstein and the accompanying costume. I’ve loved watching her spirit and gumption – how she loves to take on new challenges without fear.
I watched her bloom over time from a pretty young girl to a teenager with braces.
I’ve loved watching my daughter grow from a little girl who used to play pretend dress up to a beautiful young lady, both inside and out.
And after witnessing all of this, you realize as a parent that the child never really belonged to you at all. You were only given the wonderful gift of temporary custody for a brief period of time.
I wasn’t prepared for the series of emotions from the last two days. I’ve felt joy, pride, excitement, happiness and sorrow, and I’m already missing that sweet little girl that forever stole my heart.
I am so proud that she is headed off to an incredible university in the fall, but my heart is so heavy with the thought of the empty space in our home.
So my message today is simply this.
Forget the laundry and the dirty dishes. Check your email later. Close your computer and put down your phone. Ignore Facebook, and forget all about Twitter today.
Go make some memories with your child. Read to them, play with them, hug them and love them. Be there for them when they stumble and when they are victorious – they will always remember that you were. And even if they don’t remember it all, you will treasure the memories made. Make your legacy your presence in their lives.
Because it’s only a few moments until they go from this . . .
. . . to this.
And then they fly away.
Time is an unstoppable force. It’s become abundantly clear to me that you can never stop time, so you must, without fail, cherish the moments that you are given.