My best friend is sending her baby to High School today. Ok, he’s not her baby. He’s her oldest. Of four.
But he was our baby all the way back in 2001, when we were 20 something kids. We carted that adorable little chunk all over town. Kim would nurse him at Panera and I’d sling him around on my hip pretending he was mine sometimes. He was chubby and emotional and perfect and FAST. Our little baby.
I never dreamed when he was born that I’d get to watch him grow up. I thought I’d graduate from grad school and move away and miss it all. But here I am just across town. When his mama comes and brings him and he plays on his iPhone while younger kids trip and crawl all over him in the chaos of our 8 (collective) children or more depending on who’s over, he’s just a normal teenager.
But the thing is…to me he’s not a normal high school student, he’s Pierce. The first kid any of my friends ever had. And the craziest thing is, I swear she had him YESTERDAY- that day in late October, when I rushed up to the hospital downtown after class and held him for the first time. One second he was a baby and then he was a toddler and then in kinder and now high school. Just like that. I joke with Kim that she could be a grandma within the decade if he marries right out of college like she did.
So while I am just now emerging from the haze of being pregnant and having newborns for the last six years, I am well aware that all of this is just a season. It’s been a challenging and messy and wonderful season, but that’s all it is-a season. And isn’t every season challenging and messy and beautiful? In many ways, the endless seeming baby/toddler years feel like a blur. But suddenly, I’m sending my oldest to first grade today. People. Time is fleeting. And it’s also lovely.
So regardless of the season you’re in, Mama. Whether you’re up all night with babies or on your knees praying hard for teens, let’s all try to slow down this fall; love deeply and pay attention. Maybe commit to make the little things the special things. And although I’m certainly 100% guilty of fast forwarding my life, let’s try together, not to wish it away. Because soon. It will be away.
We’ve loved you dearly in all the seasons along the way. Nothing warms my heart more than seeing you grow up into a young man who loves Jesus and family, thinking deeply and embracing who you were created to be. Whatever you do, remember that even when we are being total nerd grownups, there are a lot of us that are on your team. Our doors and kitchens are always (ok well usually) open. We are praying for YOU, too, in this new season.
And here’s just one more throwback. Sorry. (No I’m not).
*One more fun fact about time: I started my senior year of high school TWENTY years ago this week. Oh. My. Word.