You guys, I’m a failure.
For the past two years I’ve been trying fiercely to halt the hands of time, and I just can’t.
A year ago, as I was staring in the face of my daughter’s graduation and her impending departure from our little nest, I wrote a short post (one of my favorites) about how quickly time was flying by, and how, although I understood it to be a futile thought, I wanted desperately to stop it.
I say “a year ago” but it honestly feels like it was last month.
A year ago.
Somebody hold me.
A daughter graduated and moved away from home. Another daughter navigated the often treacherous waters of the eighth grade and the year 13. (The fact that we survived all of those things is an accomplishment that is not lost on me, BTW.)
And here we are a year later, with one girl as good as finished with her freshman year of college and the other staring in the face of high school. And me, still wishing desperately to stop time, and still failing.
If you’ve been reading the blog for awhile, you might remember that I’m a big fan of eves — as in, the day before something wonderful is going to happen. Christmas Eve, birthday eves, the day before we’re headed on a vacation—I almost love that day more than the actual event. It’s silly, I know, but the anticipation is what delights me.
You should see me when the bartender is shaking up my Cosmo.
Right now I’m smack in the middle of a couple of monumental eves. A lot of you know that my girls are theater kids. In fact, both hope to eventually make their living one day up in front of the bright lights on the big stage. (Hey, feeding them a dinner of cereal many nights throughout their childhood wasn’t preparing them for nothing.)
This weekend my college daughter is performing in her college production of “Legally Blonde: The Musical” as Vivienne (if you’ve seen the movie, she’s the bitchy Harvard girlfriend). We’re wildly excited for and proud of her, to put it mildly. Having a role like that as a freshman is a total feather in her cap. I’ve threatened to make t-shirts. She doesn’t think I’m funny.
The following weekend my 8th grader is Princess Fiona in her school’s production of the musical version of “Shrek.” She’ll knock it out of the park, I already know. I mean, a confident princess who loves fairy tales but who also burps, farts, and won’t hesitate to kick some ass? This girl was born to play Fiona.
But while I’m ridiculously excited for both these shows (and don’t worry, I’ve secured an EMT to be on call with his paddles to shock me when I stroke out from sheer pride), I’m in the same boat I’ve found myself in many times over the past year or so; I don’t want them to get here.
I want time to stop.
I want the anticipation to last.
Because frankly, I’m getting tired of endings.
So here’s what I keep reminding myself, other than to remember to fill my purse with Kleenex before going to the shows. It’s the same old mantra I’ve been trying to beat into my brain for awhile now. Endings are unavoidable — no matter how much I fight them and how desperately I try to hold on to the eves. But what they leave behind are opportunities for more beginnings—even more eves. (Sometimes I’m really a pain in my own ass.)
But does knowing that make these events — these moments in time that are so monumental for them, and as their mama, for me — easier to let go of?
Closing the curtain (so to speak) on the big events in your child’s life — and yours — is bittersweet, no question. And for people like me who almost enjoy the rehearsing more than the show itself (don’t even try to stop the theater metaphors) it’s borderline painful.
So in the next two weeks I’ll sit in those theaters and try to take deep breaths, clap harder than anyone else, and when the lights go down on the final show, I’ll dry my eyes and look ahead.
It will be another eve, after all.
In that post I wrote last year on the eve of high school graduation– you know, the one where I basically was lamenting this exact same feeling — I said this:
… although it may be true that I’m currently living in a world of lasts, there’s a whole lot of firsts up ahead.
And guess what? I was right.
A year ago I had no idea that the girls would have these roles and be in these shows.
I didn’t know the excitement and anticipation that was yet to come.
I was unaware of a lot of other things that have also happened over the past year with not only my girls, but with myself.
Good things. Things that wouldn’t have happened if something else hadn’t ended.
It’s a vicious, wonderful circle, isn’t it? And no matter how fast it’s spinning, all we can do is hold on for dear life.
Because falling off isn’t an option.