"Jesus take the wheel!" That's all I could think of as my sixteen year old daughter hopped in the driver's seat for the last leg of our trip home. How could the same child I gave life to now be responsible for the lives of our whole family. It literally took my breath away — such a fresh reminder that life is insanely short.
These beloveds are not mine. They are gifts from God and my role is stewardship, not ownership.
It was a mom blink moment.
I could have missed it in a billion little ways. From worry to fear to fretting to disengaging to regret. Any of those emotions could have dominated the moment and stolen my joy completely. Instead of celebrating this next stage of my daughter becoming an adult, I could so easily be stuck in longing for her to stay little, dependent, and needing my protection just one more day.
I confess that I don't feel ready for her to race into her future. I see the days ahead like a ticking clock, passing faster than time should allow. My time with her in our home feels like it's slipping through my fingers like holding jello in my hands. No matter how much I want to hold tight, it will slip away.
I don't feel ready to let her launch, even though I've been investing all these years for that purpose.
But I'm coming to see that while it sounds sweet to want to hang on, it's really steeped in selfishness.
I'm not ready because I wish I would have savored each moment with her more fully. I was in such a hurry for her to grow up so that I could get my "things" done that I feel like I missed out on treasuring the time we had. Whether it was a middle of the night nursing or few minutes snuggling together when she ought to have been napping. Whether it was my impatience on helping her with homework or my frustration over how long it took her to verbally unpack her school day.