Today it felt as though I closed two chapters of my life at the same time. Sometimes I feel like life is divided up like a book and we enter and leave chapters the same way. I wasn’t quite aware of how emotional it was for me until tonight. Jon is away with the girls buying “Floppy the second” as Ella put it after “Floppy the first” died two days ago.
*You would have thought the world was coming to an end*
My home is quiet and I can’t help be reflect.
This morning we readied all of the girls and drove to Syd’s high school graduation. It is hardly fathomable that I met her 16 years ago. She was 11 months old and I fell in love with her instantly. Her big eyes filled with anticipation, stubbornness, and energy that changed my life forever.
At points when Jon and I were dating, it was easier to keep going through the tough times because I knew how much I loved Syd and wanted her part of my life. We loved to feed the ducks and listen to music together. She never sang, but would yell in excitement to the beat. I see flashes of her at different points of her…Halloween, riding four wheelers, calling “Nae Nae!”, and jumping on the trampoline. I have always been a bonus mom to her and love her like my own.
I first fell in love with Jon because I saw the love he had for Syd. She was everything to him, his little princess. Over the years they have gone through a lot of growing together. Their relationship continues to develop as time goes on. As a parent, isn’t this what we want? We want to somehow make it through the teenage years and still have a desire to be close.
It feels like I just graduated. Sitting there today brought me back to all the emotions I was having at that time in my life. It felt as though the world lay out before me for my taking. I was torn between feeling sad for my childhood gone, and excitement for the future. I remember walking up to my parents room the night before I left to college and telling them I loved them. I knew in my heart that I would never be coming back, and I was right. I miss living in the trees with my parents, young and free.
Little did I know that I would meet Jon the first semester of college. I didn’t plan on it you know, I planned on dating everyone. How was I supposed to know that Mr. Right would waltz up after math class and ask me to water ski? That wasn’t fair, the one pick up line I couldn’t ignore. It was meant to be.
So many seemingly simple things that happen in life, are meant to be.
Tonight when I came home I was tired and tried to get Halle to sleep with me. She was exhausted and refused. I kept dozing off until I gave up and read some stories with her. She would read along with me with lots of fluctuation in her voice and make up the story and characters as she went. It was darling and I held her close.
You see it hit me. In a few short years, she would be the one wearing a cap and gown. She would be the one kissing me on the cheek as Syd did today and rushing out the door to college and her new life. I had a little more patience as she became increasingly ornery and tired. I picked her up and carried her to her room. I started to sing to her as she cried. I sang “I Wonder When He Comes Again”, “Teach me to Walk in the Light”, “I am a Child of God” and “I love to see the Temple” as I have with all of my babies.
After a while she calmed and was quiet. She listened intently and shut her eyes. Her weight was straining my tired back, but I didn’t care. I knew it was more than likely the last time I would rock my last baby to sleep. She is three and a half and I haven’t done it for at least a year. I started giggling as I looked at her precious face. Her long eyelashes and her pink lips. She was perfect, just as the rest of my daughters have been. A gift from God, a child that was trusted in my care.
The task still overwhelms me when I ponder the responsibility that the calling motherhood brings. I am human, imperfect and learning right along with my children. I am but a child myself.
Halle’s eyes popped open as I started to sing another song, “Mommy, I was already asleep, you don’t have to sing another one.” I smiled and kept on singing, holding onto this gift.
A tender mercy.
I sang and rocked for how long, I am not sure. And then she snored. She had given up the fight, but I hadn’t.
I never would.
I kept singing, kept singing, kept singing as the sun set outside her bedroom window.
Before the lick…
After the lick…