I’m almost certain that teenagers inhabit a time space continuum that is separate from those of their parents. For them, time slows to a crawl. I remember how I felt the year I began high school, thinking that it would take absolutely FOREVER to get through four years before graduation.
But now that I am a parent, I experience time on a completely different plane. Time gallops so fast that it seems the years have lapped me before I have taken a step out of the starting gate.
Ten years ago, my four-year-old played dress-up with the dog and made up her very first movie script. Five years ago, my eleven-year old laced on her first pair of ice skates. This year my fifteen-year-old will be eligible to take Driver’s Ed. Where, pray tell, has the time gone?
It can’t possibly be that she will embark on her own life adventures away from the nest in a mere three and a half years. Can it? Perhaps I’ve been swept up in the Doctor’s Tardis, and tomorrow I will wake up and find that I get to have a motherhood mulligan. If only that were true, I would play more and clean less. We’d homeschool from the beginning, and we’d take our learning out into the real world with more field trips and more visits with family. I’d sit with her and read another book for the eleventieth time…let her eat ice cream for breakfast…get her in skating when she started to walk. I’d let her make more mistakes, and I wouldn’t dead-head the hydrangeas in a fit of hysteria when she forgot to turn in her homework. I’d turn off my phone and turn on my listening ears, paying attention to this incredible child that God has given me the privilege to love, to train, to encourage.
It’s not going to be easy to let go, but letting go is part of living. She will never achieve her dreams if she’s tethered to me. I have to let that Tardis go towards uncharted dimensions. We’re already on different planes. Three and a half years to her is eternity. To me, a three and a half year time period will be over before it begins.
May the Lord give me the grace to make the most of it so I will need fewer mulligans and will embrace each moment that is given!