Thursday, August 21, 2014

It's happening

I remember when Sarah and Hannah were babies and I'd be somewhere in town and people would stop to talk. Most people would either be amazed that they were twins or have a story to tell about their twins. When my parents came to visit after the girls were born & we went to the mall, people would stop and look and Papa would say "We charge a quarter to look." (He had a good sense of humor.) And, many people -- who were not in the thick of trying to take care of infant twins -- would say "Treasure these moments." 

I knew they were right. And, I knew that I was so lucky to have these sweet little baby girls. But the truth was, I was LOOOOONNNNNGING for time away from their lovely selves. I could not WAIT until they went to preschool. Two and a half hours of ME time (even if that meant grocery shopping) sounded heavenly.

Preschool came. And in that time, I met some great mamas and became good friends with some of them. The girls, too, became good friends with some of their classmates. They played. They learned. They had fun. I went grocery shopping, or had lunch with the ladies or played on my own. Turns out two and a half hours goes really quickly.

Then it was time for them to go to kindergarten. That was even more time to myself and more days a week. They learned. They played. They made good friends. Me, too. 

Elementary school turned into middle school and middle school turned into high school... 

People have told me through the years that high school, in particular, goes very fast. I've found that that's true, but it still seemed like I had a lot of time. Even last year, when they were in eleventh grade, they still had one more year to go.

Somehow, though, it all of a sudden became the summer before they become SENIORS.

Last week, we went to see the movie "Boyhood."  It was really good... Lots of good parts in that movie, but the one that really got to me was when she was talking to her son before he left for college. And, I just cried and cried. The tears would not stop.

I have a friend whose oldest daughter graduated from high school last June. My friend kept telling me  -- all through the year -- about how emotional she was and how her husband and daughter didn't like it, but she couldn't help it. She'd cry at the last cross country meet. She'd cry at the orchestra concerts. She took a day off of work to get ready for the graduation party and she found that she was just crying at home alone... I sort of understood, but not really 'cause my girls were still in eleventh grade. They had a whole year ahead of them. WE had a whole year ahead of US. 

But starting last week, I began to understand. My girls -- my little bitty, teeny weensy, twin baby girls --- who needed me so much when they were born...who cried when I left them in the nursery at MOPS...  who cried for the first month of kindergarten and who followed sweet Mrs. Francis around the playground for the first three months of kindergarten.... my girls, who were quiet and reserved... my girls who used to be picky eaters, who loved (still love) "Arthur" and "Little Bear"... my girls who used to dance around the family room to silly music... who loved listening to "Room Six Songs" in the car on the way to school... my sweet girls who would practice their multiplication tables in the car listening to School House Rock... my little girls who used to be afraid of cats until we got Reba and Faline... and dogs until we got Raney.... those tiny little three year olds who were in no hurry to potty train and pushed me to multiple variations of bribery to help them hurry a bit... my girls who used to take a million books to bed with them when they were still sleeping in a crib... the same girls who ran out to the car at the end of 4th grade to tell me that they wanted to play the violin in orchestra.... those little girls who did not love learning to swim... who went with me when they were in 4th or 5th grade to lobby our representatives to fund more Alzheimer's research and treatment.... those little girls who had (have) beautiful imaginations and played games like "Sally and Nalley", "Thorny Prickles" and "Springtime Offices"... THOSE little girls are soon to be seniors in high school, which means they will soon graduate and move away from home and be grown up.

As much as I have known all along that one day they would be grown up, I really didn't know. I had no clue it would actually arrive at my house. Not really. I mean a parent knows things, but they don't really become real until it actually happens.

So... I pray that THIS year is the most wonderful year of their school career. I pray that they learn a lot and grow a lot and have a lot of fun. I pray that they begin to see a little more clearly what they hope their future looks like. I pray that they each -- as individuals -- discover a little more about themselves and begin to discern what the correct next step is for them. I pray that their friendships deepen and strengthen... I pray that every single day of this school year is helpful preparation for all of the years that lie ahead.

I pray that I will be an encouragement and a help as they prepare for the next few years.  And, I pray that they, in turn, will also help me prepare for the next few years of their "grown-up-dom."

I pray that this year and the all the years that follow teach them how to live and love and support all kinds of people -- whether those people are just like they are or are very different -- while still holding onto their values and principles.

I am so thankful for the gift of those girls. 

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