For parents in the thick of changing diapers and waking up throughout the night, it’s nearly impossible to imagine how it might feel to realize your little ones are all grown up.
For Misty Brewer Lee of Conway, Arkansas, her youngest son’s impending high school graduation in 2018 was when it all hit home.
Her daughter was already in college, so Misty wasn’t expecting the flood of memories that came when Braedon began his senior year of high school. After doing some serious reflection, the awesome mom took to Facebook to share her emotional thoughts on watching her kids become adults.
“When you first have children, they talk about the challenges of parenting,” she began. “The struggles of a baby waking in the night, the toddler who won’t stay in their bed, the cost of childcare.”
You watch their eyes light up on Christmas morning….and try to soak in the magic of those moments. You coach them in sports, rushing to practices and ball games…and tote them all over the country to let them play the game they love…no matter how exhausting or expensive it becomes.
Life is just so busy that you rarely even stop to think what the end of those days looks like. In fact, it’s not really even something you can wrap your mind around. You go into it thinking that 18-20 years sounds like a long time…. Then suddenly hours turn into days… days into months… and months into years.
That little person that used to crawl up next to you in bed and cuddle up to watch cartoons… suddenly becomes this young adult who hugs you in the hallway as they come and go. And the chaos and laughter that used to echo throughout your home… gets filled with silence and solitude.
In the midst of all the change, Misty was left wondering if she’d done everything right. Second-guessing is a natural part of huge milestones, after all — one that’s closely related to discovering new boundaries and expectations.
You’ve learned how to parent a child who needs you to care for and protect them… but have no clue how the whole ‘letting go’ thing is supposed to work. So you hold on as tight as you can… wondering how time passed so quickly… feeling guilty that you missed something…. Because even though you had 20 years… it just somehow doesn’t seem like it was enough.
Parenting is by far the most amazing experience of your life… that at times leaves you exhilarated… while others leave you heartbroken. But one thing is certain… it’s never enough time…. So for all the parents with young children… whose days are spent trying to figure out how to make it through the madness… exhausted day in and day out…
Soak. It. All. In. Because one day… all those crazy days full of cartoons, snuggles, sleepovers, Christmas morning magic, ball games, practices, and late-night dinners… all come to an end. And you’re left hoping that you did enough right, so that when they spread their wings… they’ll fly.
Parents have a daunting mission to raise compassionate individuals who can succeed without them. No matter where we are in life, Misty’s words of wisdom are a gentle reminder to embrace the “now.”
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