Wednesday, May 25, 2011

How is it that my 3 year old daughter is driving and now graduating high school?

I could have sworn it was literally just yesterday that my daughter was 3 years old. I remember that time so vividly. She was 3 and my son about 6 months. We had just moved to Texas about 4 months prior, away from my immediate family in Arizona. My husband worked about 60 hours a week and when he was home, it seemed as though he was relentlessly on call. And so, there I was with 2 little ones, in a new state, no family around, and what seemed like an absent husband. You could say that I was feeling a bit overwhelmed.

On one of my parent's frequent visits, I was explaining my woes and frustrations to my dad and this is what he told me: "Enjoy this time while they are little because before you know it, you'll wake up and they'll be grown, and out of your house." I listened to his words of wisdom and half heartily thought to myself, "That's nice, and how soon will this happen?" In great retrospect I had no idea of how right he was.

Flash forward, to today. I wake up and find that my 3 year old baby girl is now driving and about to graduate high school is a few days. How did this happen? Just yesterday, I was wiping her red lipstick smeared face! I could probably go on forever with all she was doing yesterday and what she is now doing today, but I won't.There is just too much that has happened over night. It is now time to open my eyes and wake up to the light of this day and accept that fact that she is growing up and I must let her.

I find myself feeling very sad about these changes yet, at the same time, so proud and excited for her. And so, I've come to the conclusion that in order to deal with these conflicting emotions I must first recognize two important things. First, this experience holds two truths: one being a death of sorts, and the other being a rebirth. Second, I must learn to mourn the past in my own head while rejoicing in my daughter's future.

You see, death, in a figurative sense, is not always a bad thing. As you find yourself having to close a door on one chapter in your life, you are, in essence, killing it away and therefore must allow yourself to go through the proper mourning process. Once dealt with, you can then  find the new door, open it, and walk through with a bright smile toward the future.

This is what I am currently telling and coaching myself through as I find myself deep in the mourning process while writing this post. I expect to cry tears of sorrow as well as joy when I see her parade along the graduation procession. I also expect to be a bit of a mess a couple of days before and after, knowing all the while that it will work out as it should, as it is supposed to be. My heart will be full of joy and hope as her life experiences a rebirth into her future.

As I sit through her graduation ceremony I will be donning waterproof mascara and eyeliner with a big box of very soft tissue by my side while trying to take photos in between moments of lucidity; and I will survive!