“Where Did the Time Go?”(For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the license terms of this work. The best way to do this is with a link to this web page: https://4marchforth.com/contact/)
September 29, 2013
Just a few weeks ago, parents witnessed their preschool, elementary, and adolescent children, returning to school to start a new academic year. Summer break had passed quickly. It was a massive blur for our family. Each of our two sons spent an enjoyable summer vacation filled with different camps and fun-filled experiences that kept our front door rotating like a revolving door. As one son was coming home, the other son was leaving to attend an overnight trip or event. In the blink of an eye, the new school year began for both of them. Where did the time go?
With the new school year starting, many parents and their children experienced new changes in their family dynamics. For one, it settled the hectic summer schedule into a more predictable and manageable but busy schedule nevertheless. For another, it presented some bigger transitions for parents and their children than previous school years – a child’s first day of school, first child to leave home for college, first child to go to middle school, etc.
Like many, our family experienced these transitions as well. It was exactly 13 years ago our eldest son began kindergarten. I wondered then – where did the time go? How could he be starting kindergarten? Thankfully, I was glad it was only kindergarten because in a short while I knew he would be a senior in high school. My mother always said, “Once a child starts school, they slide right out the front door of your home!” Boy was she right. Our eldest son is now a senior in high school. Where did the time go?
This year, he will be experiencing many things for the very last time as a high school senior. He will continue to transition his move out of high school and our home into college and his future life. It is a major changeover for him as well as the rest of our family. Where did the time go?
Furthermore, not to be outdone – his younger brother, our youngest son – entered his first year of high school. He is nipping at his older brother’s heels as he also transitions into a new phase of his life. In addition to this experience, he celebrated another birthday that allows him to obtain a driver’s permit to drive a car. Where did the time go?
As their Mom, I am in transition too. Even though our sons might not think so, I am well aware of how important these times are in their lives. I was young once. I do know how important these events can be. I also know as a parent how important it is to say and do the right thing at this age. (I am probably more aware how important it can be as I look back to the time when I traveled this path with my father and mother.) I also know that as a mother, it is important to allow them the freedom to expand their selves on their own through this transition. It is just hard to make that timing right in their eyes verses my eyes!
On the other hand, how fast time flies, depends on one’s perspective and what is happening in one’s life. For example, over four years ago I experienced one of the worst events in my life. I found out I had breast cancer. This experience was one of the most gut-wrenching events I have ever had to face as a person, mother, and wife. Now, I feel safe enough with myself to say that I thought I was going to die from this cancer diagnosis (if not that, then maybe from the chemotherapy treatments!) It has been a very long road mentally and physically for me to return to my previous self before that unwanted passage. Finally, today – four plus year later – I am beginning to feel very close to how I felt before that journey began. I am sleeping better, my body doesn’t ache as much, my memory is returning, and my stamina has been forever increasing! Wow, why did it take so loooonng!
Therefore, as you can see – depending on your perspective in life – time can really fly or time can crawl. It really depends upon what one is experiencing in their daily lives.
In January 2014, I will mark my 5-year survival anniversary from breast cancer. That will be an awesome feeling! I am excited! To be quite honest – when they told me I had breast cancer, I truly felt I only had five good years left with my family. I didn’t really dwell on this perception but it was at the core of my thought process. I just knew cancer did not have a good “track record” within my family.
Thus, I worried about our sons and what I needed to tell them in case I did not make it after five years. I wondered if I would be alive to see some of my sons’ pinnacle events in their lives – Confirmations, Graduations, Football Senior Night, etc. Items I now place primarily on my bucket list. Even though this was/is an inner thought, it still haunts the back creases of my mind each day. It reminds me to live and make the most of each of my days the best that I can. Who knows how long any of us have to live? I am just glad to be able to awake and spend these last few precious years with my sons at home who are grasping time as fast as it is delivered to them. Our children are rapidly becoming responsible, hard working young adults! They do have one-step out the front door –just like Mom said!
Thus, I hate to make this comparison but it is so very true. Your children will someday grow up and leave home. However, no matter who they become and where they are in their lives, they will always be a part of you and you a part of them. Unfortunately, cancer works the same way. You may overcome and survive this disease but it remains within the inner laces of your mind throughout these years too. You never know if it will rear its ugly head again. With that said, I’m glad I didn’t waste the last four plus years fretting if it will return or not. I focused on the time I had and could with my family and the things that were hopefully most important to them and me. Even now, I have to ask – Where did the time go?
Therefore, we have to realize we just can’t control some things in our lives: our babies growing into independent young men and women, our time here on earth, or whether cancer will return or not and so on. Five years has almost past. I did the best I could under the circumstances I had. Thus, with that being said, I have always had good intentions to do many things in my life. Sometimes life gets in the way and our good intentions do not get finished. Nevertheless, I want our sons to know – I did the best I could.
I also want to tell our sons to do the best you can under the circumstances you have and you will make the most of your lives. Laugh, love your family, and live each day to the fullest in whatever you do. Then, both of you can also ask when you get older – “Where did my time go?” Moreover, you both will then have an answer – “What my Mom told me to do – I laughed, loved my family, lived each day to my fullest, and did the best I could!”
So heads up everyone – our senior will be making a bigger impact on your world soon and our freshman is taking to the road to drive. Sons be careful, have fun, and make the most of your “TODAY!” For now, I am so glad I still get to see you every day at home.
Finally, I want to add one more inner thought. If you see tears in my eyes during the upcoming high school Football Senior Night ceremonies, it’s not because our 6’ 3” 195-pound “baby” is ending his career at high school or leaving home soon – it is because I am very happy I made it to this night to experience and share this wonderful event with him.
Sons – I love you both, Good Luck and God Bless! – Mom
And as Always…MARCH FORTH!!
Marci A. Schmitt
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