Where Do The Years Go?

Where do the years go? It wasn’t that long ago I held her in my arms for the first time and stared down in wonder at the 6 pound bundle of pink in my arms and felt my heart swell with a deep love I had never known before.

I remember staring at her while she slept wondering why I was blessed with this little miracle.

Motherhood changed me in so many ways. Suddenly, what I wanted didn’t matter, what she needed did. I had dreams for her and I had fears too.

All I wanted to do was keep her safe and let her feel unconditional love.

I wanted her to be well educated, well read and cultured, but I also wanted her to know where she came from and who she was on a spiritual level.

I wanted her to know God and to always have His Love in her heart. I prayed she’d always feel accepted, just as she was, and that she would somehow know I would always be there for her, just as a mom should be.

I wanted her to take risks and not to fear the world, but I wanted to keep her safe at the same time.

I dreamt I could get this tiny fragile baby to a state of adulthood where she would feel my love everyday and where she would know I would always be her anchor.

I wanted her to challenge herself and dig deep when life got tough, and yet I wanted to spare her some of the pain of a constantly changing world.

I prayed she would someday earn her college degree, for I knew, if she could focus and stay committed to her education, she would have many career opportunities.

I also knew earning a college degree would be a long hard journey. The work is challenging and sometimes feels overwhelming and impossible. I prayed she would somehow overcome these challenges and persevere enough to get the job done. I knew once she earned her college degree she would always have it, no one could ever take it away from her. She would know that she, and she alone, earned this degree and made this happen.

I knew in the end she would feel proud of herself, she would walk away from her school an empowered, stronger young woman ready to start her career and deal with life’s many challenges.

Where do the years go? I don’t really know, but I do know she did it. My baby girl graduated from college! She really did it!

What I didn’t expect was to be hit with a wave of melancholy during the graduation ceremony. I thought I’d be so happy and excited. Yes, she was finally graduating, soon she will be moving on and starting her career. It hit me then, I wasn’t really happy tonight watching her walk for her degree. I was sad, because I knew my job was mostly done. She was now a grown woman. She would soon be moving away to start her own life. A life that I would be a part of- but of her history not so much her future.

This must be what a mother Robin feels like as her babies start to flap their wings and attempt their first take-off. The mother wants the baby to learn, it is important, it is a skill that will help the baby all their life, but…. As soon as the baby does, in fact, flap their wings, they will take off and fly. They will soar. They will soar away.

Daughters will go out into the world and do great things. They will start careers and be successful; they will learn to handle what is thrown at them in life. Someday they might marry and have children of their own and when this happens they too will do everything they can to help their children achieve their goals and make their dreams happen. So their children can fly away. I guess this is what a mother does.

It was on my bucket list to help my child celebrate her college graduation. I knew I had my part to do and I also understood that for this to work for me, she would have to have made it her dream also.

I could help in many ways, ranging from encouragement, to care packages timely sent, some financial help along the way, and even a few simple postcards just so she knew I was thinking about her. But she did all the work. She followed the plan and got the job done in 4 years-a real challenges these days. While she did all this work she make something on my bucket list come true. I watched my baby girl shake the hand of the Dean and walk away a college graduate!

So my friend, I ask you “what’s next on your list?”

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