Have you heard that song by Kenny Chesney, “Don’t Blink.”? I start to feel that way every year around this time, like, where did the time go? (The current episodes of This Is Us is not helping me here). I’m driving through our little town, and I see the senior banners up and they legit make me cry every time. This year my niece is graduating so cue tears there, but every other year, I haven’t known the kids really and definitely didn’t have any close connections and yet something about seniors graduating and the finality of it all, closing this chapter of their lives to begin the next. It’s like the big, wide, world is just waiting for them, and it is so exciting and scary, and the possibilities are endless, if they let them be. And then I pause, and I think, I’m going to have a freshman in the fall and in 4 short years I’m going to be looking at his banner hanging high for everyone to see, and I just can’t fathom that, so tears sting my eyes again. The other day, through clouded vision, I decided to pray for each one of those seniors as I read their names on their banners. I only know a handful of them, but what does that matter when it comes to prayers? God knows them, He knows each one of them. He created each one of them. And He loves them. So I pray for those kids when I see their banners now. I wanted to say it wasn’t too long ago that I was a senior, but then I blinked and realized, nope, can’t say that, it’s 22 years this June(sorry class of 2000, it is easy math, but somehow I didn’t realize how much time has truly passed, 22 years- OUCH!) But truly, it doesn’t feel like that long ago, when the world was right there at my feet, just waiting for me. I wonder about the choices that I made, the classes I took, the major I declared, the schools I attended, the friends that were my world, the teachers, the drama, the jobs, how I spent my time and my money, the words I said, the words I didn’t say… So many things. And yet, if I sit and count my regrets, then I discount where I am and what I have today. Yes, I have regrets, but I also know that I had to make mistakes in order to grow. I had to experience life in certain ways in order to perhaps help someone out one day or even write about it. So these seniors are about to be set free into this world, some of them already are depending on their family life and circumstances. At 18, I was beyond my years, but that’s a story for another day. But some of them are about to experience real independence for the first time. Whether they are going to college or not, they are about to start making lives for themselves separate from their families. They will face decisions every day. They are going to make mistakes. They are going to learn. They are going to grow. They need love, support, guidance, and prayers. So to the class of 2022, near or far, you are in my prayers.
As for my little corner of the universe here, I blinked. Logan participated in bike to school day with Kenny this morning. There was a day not terribly long ago that he couldn’t walk or talk at nearly 2 years old, and yet this morning he biked miles to school. Last night was the first middle school band concert in two years. Christopher performed for the first time since 6th grade and Evan performed for the first time as a 6th grader. It was a surreal feeling that I think I was not alone in. And as I saw my boys, standing tall at 12 and 14, looking even older all dressed up, I thought, well I guess I blinked. But as they get older, I suppose I’ll keep feeling this way, this sense of, where did the time go, as I hold on for dear life and try to capture the moments in a snapshot in my mind (and on my phone). Because as I look back over my motherhood journey thus far, I do have many regrets, but I cannot hold on to those too tightly or I’ll miss the blessings in the here and now. I think as parents, we have to take those regrets for what they are, accept that they happened and leave them where they belong, in the past, so we can embrace the present and welcome the unknown of the future with open arms.
How do you deal with regrets? Have you learned and grown from them? I would love to hear from you. Do you have a senior? I would love to pray for them, please leave me a comment with their name in it. Have a beautiful weekend!