My daughter took the call yesterday. She relayed the inconsequential information first, then with dancing eyes, she nonchalantly remarked, “And by the way, I’ve been accepted. They reviewed my admission and said I’m a perfect match for their school.”
I knew this was coming. I too was sure that my daughter would be a perfect fit with the vision of this small Christian college a couple of hours from our home. After the excitement of the moment died down, I pondered the path which had led to this day.
Almost 18 years ago, I looked into her face for the first time. My world shifted as I gazed upon a beauty that was so much more than my imaginings could begin to capture.
and so fragile;
a bit too early, yet perfect in the tiniest detail.
150 months ago, she sat down at her new little desk. We opened our first schoolbook and began the journey. In spite of me she learned, and I began to truly grow up.
Tears and tantrums,
laughter and ‘lightbulb’ moments;
lives intertwined, and flourishing together.
99 days from now I will hand her a diploma; a tangible marker of the completion of this path. And while the reality is, she has had charge of her education for some time already, the finality had not occurred to me.
No more messy projects of paper and glue,
no more discoveries of long-forgotten people and places;
no more snuggling in the big bed, losing ourselves in worlds of
wardrobes and rabbits and other earths.
The homeschool journey so often seems never-ending. Indeed, my road is far from finished, yet I now see that is does end. With this one child, this remarkable mind, this wickedly witty young woman, it is almost done. We’ve made it. She is accepted. Her road will continue on without me at the helm. And though I am wildly excited for her, I find an unexpected emotion as well. Grief.
This grief courses through my body in waves, squeezing my heart and my throat so that I am incapable of speech. It leaves a hollowness in my belly where she once grew, and where I first felt the flutterings of a life not my own. My eyes fill, and I force the tears back because I fear that if a single one spills over they shall never stop and my mommy-heart will shatter into a million pieces.
Excitement and mourning,
unfettered joy and mind-bending pain,
the capacity and resiliency of a mommy’s heart is limitless.
This, I suppose is the life of a mommy. We give and give and give. And instead of emptying, our hearts simply grow and grow and grow to accommodate. The cracks and dents we endure only serve to make them beat stronger.
How many days, or hours until her actual departure? I don’t know because I cannot bear to count. But I can look back and rejoice over the 6,481 days we’ve been blessed with so far. I have not lived those days perfectly as her mother. But I don’t regret nor take a single one for granted. Each has been a gift of indescribable value.
Thank you, Lord, for every one of those days. Thank you for the gift of this marvelous child. May you give me clarity and wisdom in my ever evolving role in her life. May the changes be sweet, and our love for each other mature and strengthen. And most of all, may Your light be seen through our journey. Amen.