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Tomorrow is Lakeview's Homecoming game. My baby girl is on Homecoming court, so that means that Brad and I get to walk her across the field as they announce her name and her future plans. That made me cry just typing that. Future plans. Those of you who know me well can imagine what a mess I am.

We have been going to these games since she was a tiny girl, watching my sisters in law marching in the band, then watching Chloe as a Little Bulldogs cheerleader, cheering with the high school cheerleaders, and now, here we are. I remember watching parents walking their children across the field and thinking how sweet it was and wondering if we'd get to do that someday, but someday seemed so far away. Now someday is tomorrow. She's the varsity cheerleader. She's on Homecoming court. And I've got to manage to keep my composure and walk her across the field.

Thinking about your child growing up and going to college doesn't seem that difficult until you are bittersweetly celebrating all their lasts. Her last Homecoming dress, her last Homecoming game, her last Madrigal Feast, her last year in high school. I almost can't bear it. I'm a crybaby, so I wept at all the firsts and seconds and thirds, but these lasts are really tearing me up.

I remember being a senior in high school--my mother wasn't the sentimental type, I don't remember her being broken up about any of these things. In fact I distinctly remember her yelling at me on senior night right before we walked across the field and wishing that she wasn't there. For me, every moment with Chloe has become special. I treasure each second I get to spend with her because I know that in the blink of an eye she will be gone. I guess I should do this with my other kids too, but their departures aren't as imminent, so unfortunately, I take time with them for granted sometimes.

This is good training, since I have to do it all over again in six years, and then again in six more years. God knew what he was doing when he only let me ovulate every five and a half years. I am going to need at least that long to recover from letting one child go before I have to do it all over again.

Today, I feel so proud of the young woman she has grown to be. So smart, determined, driven, and responsible. I feel so grateful for the time I get to spend with her. And at the same time I feel remorseful for all the times I was too busy, too tired, too ignorant to know that her childhood was going to fly by before I could stop and say, "Wait, don't grow up so fast..." I can't make up for that. I can only hope that I did enough, gave enough, and loved enough for her to know how precious she is to me.

And I can remind myself of this feeling each time I am too tired or too busy for Peyton or Lily, because someday this is going to be them. And that someday is coming way too soon.


  1. I'm sure she knows. And a child who grows up in a home where the parents are never too busy, never trying to move the pot before it boils over, turn down the heat under the frying pan before the house burns down, hiding in the bathroom for five minutes of solitude, shushing children while they talk on the phone with a friend....well, that child is ill prepared for real life, wherein love is not equal to You Are My Only Concern. There are things though ... things that pretend to be more important than they really are, that woosh away parts of us and keep us from being fully present in moments that would bring great joy, upon remembrance. "The work will wait while you show the child the rainbow, but the rainbow won't wait while you do the work."


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