When did this happen??
As Super S entered his senior year of high school, I was often asked how I was handling it. My pat answer was “kicking and screaming”. Time had ticked on, but my heart never counted the sands slipping through my fingers. I simply wasn’t ready for my chubby-cheeked, curly-headed boy to grow up and be ready to launch. Head knowledge told me he was more than ready, but often my heart is not on speaking terms with the logic my brain is offering. If you were to ask one of my best friends, she will tell you I am not good with big transitions for my children. She will throw back her head and laugh while telling about the tears I shed after spending an exhausting day at Track-N-Field Day a long time ago. Sun-kissed and windswept, I stopped by her house to drop some thing or another off and broke down in tears because my oldest, Reed, was graduating out elementary school. “NOT GOOD WITH TRANSITION” would be the understatement of the year!
Often the anticipation is much worse than the event; akin to the pain you know is coming when removing a Band-Aid from a healed wound. Like Super S declared after knocking a bully silly in the first grade, “They give me a wide berth now!” (I know. I know. We should have seen the inevitable valedictorian status when he was using idioms like this in the FIRST GRADE.) I give myself large latitude of grace as milestone events approach; knowing full well I don’t do transition well.
But like those sneaky behind the back hugs Reed used to give so freely, moments have a way of catching me off-guard. Last Tuesday almost knocked me flat.
The day started innocently enough when I asked Sal what her plan was for afterschool. She informed me she would be helping a neighborhood friend with piano. Do what? You haven’t practiced piano in 6 months and you aren’t exactly what I would call a piano tutor. She assured me that her friend, K, was just getting started in piano, and she would definitely be able to help her. I reminded her she needed to be home in time for voice lessons, gave her and her school walking buddy a squeeze for the day, and headed off to inspire the future teachers of the world.
True to her word, Sal returned home about fifteen minutes before voice lessons, only to learn our beloved teacher was ill. No lessons for the day. Saddened by the news, she decided to tackle her homework so that we could have some fun later when Daddy got home. We worked side-by-side, math for her and grading papers for me, when she suddenly realized she left her weekly vocabulary words at her friend’s house. I thought nothing of it and kept working away.
I was still deep in the world of correcting of grammar glitches and offering suggestions when she returned without much fanfare. But oh! My heart was not ready for what I saw when I looked up. No warning! Absolutely no warning was given to see my little girl had blossomed into a thoughtful caring young lady!
Standing before me was my baby holding a pizza spaghetti casserole in her oven mitted hands. Piano lesson help – my left toe! Sal and K researched recipes online, settling on one from Southern Living (be still my heart and notice it was a casserole NOT a hot dish!), raided the two homes’ cupboards, sent a brother to the store for what they couldn’t find, prepared the whole meal for both families, and blessed two busy mommas with a night off in the kitchen.
I was SPEECHLESS. Both the girl and the supper were amazing gifts! When did this happen? When did my baby girl become a young lady? This revelation brought my “kicking and screaming” meter to a whole new level when my heart realized that my baby was only two years away from “graduating” from elementary school herself. I am not ready. The struggle is real.
Unfortunately for her, I am not the only one feeling this tug of sentimentality as none of the big people in our family are ready for her to become more than the “baby” of the family. She, however, is showing us that she has this growing up thing well under control.
I think we all better buckle up because there is very little she lets slow her down. I cannot wait to see to what heights she will soar – now if I can just convince my heart to enjoy the ride.