How Did We Get Here?

It’s that time of year when I ask myself how did we get here? To this point in time at the end of the school year and almost halfway through the calendar year. Now granted the second semester of school for my kiddos was wild but how the succession of the sun rising and setting every day led us here is beyond me. Was it faster than normal? For me personally, it has been a very full year with a lot of changes and growth for myself and my family. But in some ways, I am completely dumbfounded that we are in the final days of school. To me, it feels like this is the beginning of April with certain points of the year feeling like a dream. Even Mother’s Day, earlier this month, feels six months ago to me.

I realized this year that the month of May makes me feel a little sad. Although there are lovely things like Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, and “flowers” it also tends to be a time of endings. I’m coming to terms with the fact that the school year is over and the busiest month for my family, June, is on the horizon – with two family birthdays, Father’s Day, and our wedding anniversary. Lots of fun celebrations but also a reminder that we are another year older. That my kids are growing up.

I’m not great when it comes to change. I find comfort in the steadiness of what to expect and usually the transition into a new season doesn’t give me that. Even my 7-year-old son commented, “the end of the school year is bittersweet”. He’s had a great group of kids in his class this year and even though I’ve made an effort to exchange numbers with as many moms as I can in hopes of making play-date plans this summer, I’m sure I missed someone. I’m aware of how fast the season moves and how I will be surprised again at the end of the summer when I feel like it just started.

Last week, my daughter graduated from preschool. It hit me hard. She is my favorite girl! The family sparkle. It has been such a joy watching her grow. Not only this year but throughout all her preschool years – a lot of which were interrupted by COVID. Even though she didn’t have three consecutive years of preschool like her older brother, I spent a lot of extra time with her due to the pandemic and it was a blessing. During that time, I wasn’t always the most creative but I was present and I will treasure those memories. Although she has spent the past school year at her half-day preschool, it will be strange not to be with her for seven hours a day, five days a week. Despite all that, I am so excited to hear about her new friends and her adventures. I know she will shine so brightly in kindergarten.

All of this reminds me of how quickly time passes and as much as I want to hold on to it, I can’t. As much as I want to freeze things or press pause on what is happening, I can’t. I am faced with the reality that life and time are not stagnant but constantly moving.

I’ve shed my fair share of tears over this last week. The best advice one of my seasoned mom friends gave me is to, “Allow yourself a little grieving time. It’s ok to feel the emotions.” That’s probably one of the many reasons I’ve caught myself crying at the most random things.

I tweeted recently that the most beautiful seasons in life are sometimes the most heartbreaking. This year has been awesome. All three of my kids have really grown up and matured this year – even my 2-year-old that is deep in potty training. He constantly surprises me with his comments and questions. At the same time, I am incredibly aware of the brevity of life and time. It’s so bittersweet. Everyone is getting older. My children. My parents. Myself. I am trying to soak up all the things that are this life, this day, and this season.

What has helped me cope is being honest about how I’m feeling and trying to remain grateful. I’ve learned that two things can be true. If I were to count everything I’m thankful for, it would be innumerable. I’ve found myself at times longing for the past. And although I’ve had some beautiful times in my past, I don’t want to pine for that. I want to be excited about my life right now. For being on the cusp of summer and all the fun memories I will make with my family. Moving forward, I want to do my best to savor this time. The extra daylight, the laughter, the warm weather, the adventures, and the exploration. Yes, there are things I’ll miss about this season but there is also so much to look forward to.