That's what everyone keeps telling me..."There's a light at the end of the tunnel."
"Your kids are almost grown and gone," they say.
"There's a light right up ahead! How exciting for you!" they exclaim.
Two weeks ago, Zach started his junior year of college...that's right I said college. This past Tuesday, Lucas and Claire started their senior and sophomore years, respectively, in high school. So I can see where these people are getting this idea that there's a light at the end of my tunnel.
But that's not how I see it. At. All. I'm not planning to lament and bemoan the fact that my kids are growing up...right before my stinking eyes. I've done that enough, and what I've come to realize is I don't have a choice in the matter. They're gonna grow up, whether I like it or not. So I've had to come to accept this fact of life by focusing ~ focusing on them, the moment and being present in the here and now. I can't dwell on the past or dread the future. The only thing I can do is stay here.
This past summer the kids and I watched the entire series of The Office, (they watched it from beginning to end at least twice). And in the series finale Andy said something that I've draped over my shoulders and taken on as my mantra mantel.
I think this is really what I've been doing all along my parenting path. I've thoroughly enjoyed every stage of my kiddos' lives, and have always said, "This stage (whatever stage it may be), this stage is my favorite." I've loved every single minute of parenting these three crazy kiddos. It's been chaotic, cathartic, crazy, stressful and stress-filled, full of times of sunshine and torrential thunderstorms - which sometimes morphed into downright hurricanes, but the most important part of this parenting thing is that it's been filled with love and light...my kind of light. It's not the light at the end of a tunnel. It's the light shining on the here and now, showing me that these are my good old days. And I haven't even left them.
Oh, for the love of my children...