A few weeks back, at 2 am on Sunday morning, I turned the clocks forward one hour. Okay, let’s be real here, the hubs did it, not me. Bless his heart for taking care of that since by then I was a good four hours into my precious soon-to-be-interrupted-by-our-two-year-old sleep.
As a parent, I severely dislike time changes of any sort as they throw my children entirely off schedule. Me, being the adaptable adult that I am, I push through and figure out how to maximize or make up for that hour, but for many youngsters like mine, this can be a struggle.
However, one thing I am not adjusting well to is the rapid speed at which each day is continuing to pass, and as the time rapidly goes by, you guessed it, my children continue to grow just as swiftly.
“Spring forward” we are told each year, to which I internally reply, “No…I’m not ready to.”
I am incapable of springing forward to the end of my daughter’s 1st-grade year — didn’t she just start Kindergarten?
I refuse to spring forward to her fifth-grade graduation — there is no way my baby girl is old enough to begin middle school.
It is not possible for me to spring forward to her first day at “big kid” school — I am so worried about the mean peers who may make her feel like she is not “enough”; not smart enough, not “cool” enough or not pretty enough.
I cannot for the life of me bring myself to spring forward to visions of her in high-school — feeling the heavy pressure from both boys and academics.
Ask me to spring forward to her filling out college applications — I already know now that I won’t be able to handle all the anxiety that waiting for university acceptance letters will cause us.
Then I think about springing forward to dropping her off at college and leaving my heart with her in her new city — how will I deal with us not being together every day?
It is tough for me to spring forward to the day she will wear white and vow to be someone else’s best friend — will she stop needing me now?
I can’t imagine springing forward to a phone call from her informing me that she is pregnant and carrying my grandchild — how is my baby old enough to have a baby?
I struggle to spring forward to watching her, in her beautiful and exhausted state, navigate the challenges of motherhood — just as I did.
With no question, it is practically impossible for me to spring forward to the day that I will eventually leave her on this Earth to experience life without me by her side (or within phone call distance) — I don’t ever want to imagine that.
But, guess what?
As much as I will want to fall back to the days of her being a newborn and me being her whole world — I won’t.
As much as I will want to fall back to the days of toddlerhood and to watching her begin her language journey — I won’t.
As much as I will want to fall back on the days of her youth and watching her search for her passions — I won’t.
As much as I will want to fall back to the time when she cared more about her dad and me than her friends — I won’t.
As much as I will want to recall the happy yet anxious face she made when she received her college acceptance letter — I won’t.
As much as I will want to hold on to that memory of her wedding day and the day she became half of somebody else’s whole — I won’t.
As much as I will want to forever live in the moment she told me she was giving me grandchildren — I just won’t.
You see, one day, I will be in the moment where I am old and gray and need to leave her, and at that time, I won’t want to spring forward or fall back.
I will want to be present.
And because of that, I must start practicing being present while she is young.
It is so easy for parents to live with the guilt of yesterday and the worry of tomorrow, but this is not a way to live. We must make the conscious choice to be in today’s moments, with the people that make them up. We must embrace all that our children are bringing to our lives while we are blessed enough to share our life with them.
One day, we won’t want to spring forward, because that will mean there is no tomorrow with them.
One day, we won’t want to fall back, because that would steal away from the present time.
Life is fleeting, yes, but love is not. Love is unconditional, and it stands the test of time, so stop making time love’s enemy.
Don’t spring forward and don’t fall back, just live in the here and now — both you and your child deserve that.