I haven’t written as much lately as I used to. I’m not sure why. Busy. Business. Building a home. Life. Or maybe it’s that the topic I’m called to write about is too hard to write about and putting it off means it wont happen. My oldest child graduates from High School in less than 3 months. And it is hitting me like a ton of bricks. This past summer when we were taking her Senior pictures I remember being so grateful that I had another football season, basketball season, competition season to watch her cheer. Those have passed. She has her last cheer banquet this Thursday. And there will be no more cheering.
There will be turning in uniforms, passing on warm ups to the younger girls, passing on the duties of Captain, picking up a cap and a gown, mailing graduation announcements and some last final exams. There will be a Senior Sunset event and then she will walk across a stage and into the world. And you can say she can visit. You can say I can call her, facetime her, text her anytime. And I can. But it isn’t the same. And we all know it isn’t the same.
I miscarried several times. Many times, actually. At the age of 27 when I discovered I was pregnant AGAIN I just cried. I truly didn’t know if I would ever be a Mom. It was an incredibly stressful 9 months. I don’t think I believed she would actually be born healthy until they laid her in my arms. And every little picture in my head of a fair skinned, blue eyed, blonde haired little girl went out the door and was replaced with the most beautiful olive skinned, green eyed baby will a full head of black hair. And in that moment I knew that things don’t come as we WANT them to. They come as they wish and often bigger and better than we could’ve dreamed. I technically became a Mom that day. She made me a Mom. But I’ve become a Mom every day of every year that I’ve woken up for over 18 years.
I taught her to walk, talk, and brush her teeth and drive. But she taught me more than I could ever type. Mostly she taught me what unconditional love is. There is no love like that of a Mother and Child. I never knew how fiercely protective I could be. I never knew how hard I could love, how angry I could get, how anxious and nervous and worried I could be….until I became a Mom.
She is MORE than ready to tackle the world. I’m not worried about that. I’m also very happy for her. What’s ahead. Its so exciting. College, new friends, endless possibilities….
But I’d be lying if I said I’m not mourning the end of a period. And I’m just gonna let myself do that. It’s the cliché-ist thing in the world to say “time flies”. Because there were moments when I had a 3 and 4 year old that the days seemed endless and long and exhausting. But I’m telling you….time FLIES. She grew into a beautiful ,funny, intelligent, capable human. An adult human. Not just BECAUSE of her Dad & I but also in spite of all of the mistakes we made. And we made our fair share. I don’t think I could prouder. I truly don’t.
In addition to being addicted to Schlotzky’s while pregnant with her, I also played a few songs over and over- Eminem’s “Slim Shady” (which I credit for her obsession with rap) and Leann Womack’s “I Hope You Dance”. She’s definitely danced. And experienced and done all of the things she wanted to do. And that is what life is about. Not things, not money, not titles….its about friends and fun and experiences and going for it. It’s about moments. Lots of little beautiful moments. Madelyn as this stage ends, look back and be so grateful for all of the things you got to see and do. Then turn around, face forward, and RUN to what’s ahead. It’s my experience that nothing WONDERFUL ever came from standing still. Climb some mountains, travel, love, do your best, be kind, stand up for what is RIGHT even if you’re alone, turn the music up, and make a difference. And DANCE.