When I took my first born, Ric, to his first day of school, someone said to me, “Time flies, enjoy every minute!” I am pretty sure no mom of a four-year-old thinks time flies. Let’s be real….they are driving us crazy at home, and we want them in school. Our sanity NEEDS them in school. At the time, of course, I was polite and said, “Aww, thanks!” while I was thinking, “Whatever, biggest cliché EVER!”
Three years after that came our second boy, William. Time was NOT flying with two kids. How overwhelming was that change between having one kid and overnight, literally overnight, having two little humans depending on you for EVERYTHING?? It seemed to me time wasn’t flying. Time was standing still, and we were always tired. My husband, Josh, and I would have schedules on who would get to sleep in on a Sunday. We were so busy raising these kids!
Three years later, because apparently we hadn’t learned our lesson yet, our last boy was born, Jonathan. By the time Jona came into our lives, Ric was 6 and William was 3. Ric was more independent. Time then got real complicated juggling three kids, work and everything in between. It got so complicated we didn’t know if time was flying or if time was just standing still.
When Ric turned 17, it hit me, all of a sudden, like a cannonball. Time DOES fly by! Here we were getting ready for his first day of school as a senior in high school, an upperclassman! Wait, what? A senior? 18 in a few months? An adult? Wait, what happened? Where’s the wine?
Little did I know, way back when he was 4, that lady was right. She was completely right. Time flew, and I am here dumbfounded because what I thought was the biggest cliché ever ended up being the biggest truth.
We have been lucky enough to see Ric grow up to be an amazing young man…yes, I know I am his mother, but I promise you, I am not being biased here. He is smart, kind, pretty mature for his age and so ready for the next chapter of his life in college.
Me, on the other hand…I can’t honestly tell you what specific thing I feel right now. I have been lucky enough to go through this journey with friends who have kids the same age, like Vanessa. Vanessa and I have known each other for 12 years. Her son Cristian and Ric have been best friends since they were 6! We have gone through ups and downs together with the kids. This year, I think we have become closer than ever because we are both in the same spot. I think she is in a harder spot, Cris being her only child. We are both constantly lamenting how time flew. It really flew, and we are still a little flabbergasted by that.
Senior year is bittersweet. There’s so much dread and so much joy. As parents, we are going from happy elated to panic in nanoseconds. Are they really ready for the world? It comes with a lot of work and a LOT of spending, especially if your child is applying to colleges. I asked my friend Vanessa what was the most overwhelming part of this process and she says, “The most overwhelming thing has definitely been helping my son with the college application process. Everything from registering for the SAT/ACT to visiting schools to application deadlines. It becomes like a fine juggling act to get it all done in between practices, football games, school events and other obligations.” YES! ALL OF THIS!!! YES!!!! As much as I tried to have Ric deal with all of that mostly on his own, I was still making sure he actually did it. Ric doesn’t realize, yet, that time flies and things need to get done.
People are always asking me if I am ready for him to graduate and leave for college. My answer to this question is always the same. I am ready for him to go to college and have the best experience of his life. College is such an amazing journey. College is a new beginning. I am, however, not looking forward to graduation day. Graduation day marks the end of an era. Graduation day is the day I have to come to terms with the fact that time flew by.
There’s this great song by Abba called Slipping Through My Fingers. I love this song; it really speaks to me. Lately, I can’t hear it without shedding a tear or two…or many. Ric is slipping through my fingers, and sometimes I do wish I could freeze the picture and save it from the funny tricks of time.
Graduation day for us is May 27. Some days, I wish I could go back in time, not to change anything, but to feel a few things twice.