I can’t get used to saying goodbye to my daughters even though we’ve been doing it for the past 10 years. You’d think it gets easier, but it doesn’t. It still feels like the first time.
At the airport, I watch families with their young children and try to remember what it was like when my girls were little. What I felt like. What I was doing at the time. What we weren’t doing. Was I even aware of the passage of time?
When my kids were little I lived so much in the moment that there was no time to reflect on the fact that our time as a family was measured. Sooner than we were ready, we would have to let them go. Send them on their way. Wish them an abundance of everything, but especially of love, health and joy.
I nod and smile, a little teary-eyed nonetheless, because I know just how fast it all goes. How quickly time flies. How much I now miss the time when my daughters were little. They were always nearby. Did we take that time for granted? Sometimes, I wish I could go back in time. And, although I know that’s only possible in my memories, it is a bittersweet wish that has been gnawing at me lately more intensely than usual.
If I could go back, what would I change? I would slow down more often. Talk more with my children. Worry less. Laugh even more because we did (and still do) an awful lot of laughing as a family. Slow down all the time. Spend less and enjoy it more.
This sounds like I have regrets, but I don’t. It just goes so fast. My oldest daughter is getting married this summer. It’s a big step for all of us; my baby is going to start a family of her own. I try to think back to when I got married and started my own family. It was beautiful, even with its ups and downs. Like most newlyweds and first-time parents, my husband and I really didn’t know what we were doing. It was trial and error most of the time with a big dose of instinct mixed in. It helped that we were in agreement about what doing the right thing meant.
We raised two beautiful, courageous, amazing daughters and our son is following in their footsteps.
Still, and yet, my heart aches: can’t we keep them with us just a little bit longer?