I have heard it a million times "it only seems like yesterday and you were just a little baby..." I've heard it from my parents and many other parents I've met. Almost everyone I've ever know who's ever had children has said something to that effect.
I never expected to say it myself, but today I definitely am.
What exactly is making me so maudlin today? Today James will graduate from Rainbow Connection preschool, where he first learned the hardest life lesson of all: that mom can't be around all the time.
Those first few weeks were harrowing as every time I dropped him off, he'd scream and cling and beg me not to go. These days, four years later, I'm lucky to get a good-bye let alone a hug as he rushes into class ready to play and talk to friends.
Obviously that lesson about mom not always being around has been learned, and now I've got to learn a lesson myself: that my little boy will grow up quicker than I can imagine, and I'd better make the most of it while he still likes me!
It's a lesson I return to time and time again: that time and attention is IMPORTANT. More important than it ever gets credit for. Just the simple response "Yes, I will stop working to play with you. What would you like to do?" it is simple, the time may only be a few minutes, but it says so much.
That response says: Yes, I will stop for you.
No, I don't need to work all the time.
No, I don't really need to finish this right this second.
Yes, I want to play with you.
Yes, I see you and acknowledge you.
Yes, I love you.
Today is yet another reminder to stop, acknowledge the limited time I have with my son at this age, and make more room for him in my day.
Attention is a small thing, but it is also a huge thing. In a way, it is the only thing I can give him that he can take with him when, in just 13 more years, he will graduate from high school and leave home. Memories of time and attention...it is really the only thing we have left.
Let's go quilt,