You know, I didn't envision all this when I was teaching my children at home. Just kept putting one foot in front of the other, reading a book outloud and then one more and one more. Life in those early days of homeschooling seemed endlessly occupied with runny noses and running children and running out of steam before math was done. It seemed like the days went by so slowly, like I would live the rest of my life just changing diapers and making beds and correcting grammar. Though I didn't realize it at the time, however, it's amazing what happens when you keep taking the next step and the next step, day after day, month after month, year after year. From the vantage point of parenting for three decades, I have learned how powerful it is to keep on loving, keep on hoping, keep on listening, keep on growing in humility and wisdom as you grow with your children.
And then, one day, suddenly and without warning, they are adults. I know. If your children are in diapers or in dance class or dawdling through the day, it is hard to imagine. But it happens nonetheless. Just as a carrot seed grows almost unnoticed underground until the moment you pull it triumphantly out of the soil, so do our children grow in fits and starts through fleeting years. There comes a point when every parent is suddenly startled by the growth they see in their children. "When did that happen?" we muse.
It's not perfect, this parenting and homeschooling business. I promise you will not escape without bumps and bruises, and even heartache at times. That was a surprise to me, since I am such a Pollyanna about life. But upon reflection, I realized that I had my own bumps and bruises growing up, my own heartaches resulting from foolish choices. And I learned quite a lot in the process. As a parent, that is a freeing thought to remember.
So, last week, there we were. In a beautiful setting with beloved family and friends. Almost beyond my comprehension, we were in the moment when my son took the next step of his journey, when he and his bride began their own lives together. A time of celebration, a time of reflection. And now, a time to tell you from my heart and my experience that days drag, but years fly. Treasure the moments.