Today I was going though some old video tapes when I ran across one from a talent show Jess was in. I remember that she was a senior in high school and I was trying to sleep when I got awoken by the sound of angels singing! Okay they weren't really angels singing it was just our daughter Jess. She was rehearsing her song for the school talent show. As I laid there soaking in the sweet sound of her voice I was over taken by the deep sadness of the realization that she was leaving to go to college in a few months. Granted she would be back for vacations and during the summers. But it would never be the same again. She would be an official adult. I got misty eyed as well because I was getting hit hard that year.
My son Chris would also be going to college and our so called baby, Alexi, would be in high school that fall. I put the video in and images from the past came to life. In my mind I could see each and every one of them flash before me as tiny toddlers, energetic first graders and beyond. When I was doing laundry for nine kids I thought it would never end. Now when it only takes me a few loads to be done, I realize my role as a mother has quickly changed.
The other night at dinner time it was just my hubby, Alexi and me because everyone else was out and about. Alexi looked around the table and said, "Is this what next year is going to be like?" It was nice but quiet. No dinging, no loud laughter or joking. No "back up off my chicken!" It was just quiet and I was sad. I missed the chaos and the happy turmoil. It seemed like the whole experience just flew by and was over before I had the chance to savor the moment!
As I sat alone in my living room watching the video, I wished that there was some way that those toddlers, sticky fingers and all, could come back if only for a few minutes, to snuggle, to hug, to be able to read Winnie the Pooh with together again.
But they can't, so I do the next best thing, I break out a box of tissues and an assortment of old video tapes and picture albums. I cry not out of bitterness or regret but mostly out of longing, longing to have some of those precious moments back. On the other hand I cry out of joy and happiness at having been blessed to have been part of those wonderful, chaotic lives, bumps, bruises, tears and all. It was all so worth it. I put my head on my pillow and have a good cry as I savor the sweet memories of times gone by. As the last of my sweet Jess singing as Cinderella comes to end and I wipe away floods of tears, I also have a big smile on my face as I ponder the wonderful moments still to come today, tomorrow and beyond. Later that night as I drift off to sleep I can almost hear the soft lullabies of angels or maybe I just left the VCR running!
Baby can you pass me a tissue?