I have a friend whose oldest child is heading off to college for the first time this fall. During the school year, I see this friend just about every week, so I was well informed on the senior year happenings for this family. I heard about all of the lasts. Last first day of school. Last homecoming. Last spring break. Last AP exam. Last prom. Last day of school. Last parade as royalty. Last summer before college.
My friend lived by the words "soak it in," this past year. She didn't want to live this past year just thinking about how it would be to launch her daughter out into the world, how much her daughter would be missed in the day to day life of their family. She wanted to live in the moment, each moment. She wanted to soak it all in and create memories to savor.
Because I was living through these experiences with my friend, I've noticed a trend in my own thinking. My oldest child is a junior this year. He has two years of school left at home with us, and then his plan is to go...away...to college. And I have caught myself thinking, second to last registration day. Second to last bike season. Second to last spring break. Second to last summer at home before college.
I don't know how to do this. I am keenly aware of the passage of time. I just want to grab hold and drag my feet. Slow it down. Two more years, I have until this man-child is an adult. Two more years until he is authorized and expected to make all of his own decisions. It's not enough time. I am going to miss him so much.
I wish I could go back and tell my young mama self, the one who slept when her baby slept because she was exhausted, and didn't have time to eat on some days, that the time would go by so quickly she wouldn't even believe it. It is so true what they say--the days are long but the years are short. The sad truth is, though, I wouldn't have believed myself.
My friend is dropping off her oldest daughter today. I asked her how she was doing, and she said a wonderful thing. She said, "as much as I love her, I know God loves her more." And that is the truth. God loves our kiddos so much more than we can even imagine, and so much better than we ever could.
God has great plans for them.
Today, I encourage you to remember this truth, no matter what your stage in life, whether you're in the long days or the short years or both at the same time. God loves them more.