Such a small number in the scheme of all numbers but right now, from my vantage point, it’s a huge number.
In just a few weeks my daughter will turn 17. Y’all, I just can’t.
And in 17 months she will graduate from high school.
I have to admit, I’m equal parts hopeful and heartbroken. Hopeful because it’s been such a beautiful journey to watch our daughter grow and find her identity. I can’t wait to see what God has planned for her in the next season of her life. But I’d totally be lying if I didn’t admit to a little heartbreak. Not the awful kind, of course, but the bittersweet kind where you know something precious is coming to an end.
As we turned the calendar to 2017, I heard all the echoes of moms with kids older than mine saying, “It’s going to go by so fast! Cherish every day.” At the time, when we were battling over pacifiers and eating anything except chicken nuggets, I thought, “PLEASE! Please, Lord, let that be true! Let it pass quickly!”
And it did. It really did.
I figure the next 17 months are going to bring a lot of big emotions for me. Celebrating all the fun things like proms and senior pictures and trying not to cry through the rest of it.
So as I sit here at the very beginning of a brand new year, one that will end with my daughter having just five months left of high school, my biggest parenting goal has nothing to do with her and everything to do with me.
It’s so easy for me to get caught up in all the things that need to be done and miss out on the moments happening right now. But for the next 17 months, I want to cherish the interruptions and enjoy the unexpected moments that happen our way.
But another big part of this desire to be present is not getting lost in the past or distracted by the future. Rather than looking at what’s to come or what’s already passed, I want to be the mom who is right here, right now.
That’s my goal. Of all the things I can give my daughter before she graduates, I’m pretty sure the thing she’ll most cherish is simply my presence.