Nights like tonight leave me lost for words—a rare thing for me. A blend of emotions intertwine with a thread of pride, as I watch my kids grow up. For Alicia, who is doing fifth year high school next year, this is Prom night, even though she is not graduating until next year. She looks beautiful. She has become a young woman, leaving far behind the days when I dressed her in frilly little girl dresses and did a ‘fountain’ pony tail on top of her head.
Where does the time go? It is bittersweet. I never thought I would say that, being someone who loves the moment, looks to the future and embraces the past only as a fond memory, seldom with regret. Something happens when I see my little girl, now a wise young woman, with the gentleman she loves. He adores her too… and I realize it is another ‘phase’ of releasing her into independence. All in all it is a good thing and I’m excited for her future.
Tonight is also Bryan’s grade 8 graduation. He is a handsome, young gentleman, considerably taller than me, and has a great sense of humour. His sisters decided how he should dress for grad and, much to my surprise, he took their advice. (And looked great!) I spent several hours shopping with him several weeks ago, with no luck. Today we gave it one more shot and, less than an hour into the expedition, we had his outfit!
After grad ceremonies the school always has a dance, beginning with a father-daughter, and mother-son dance. During the dance with Bryan, we talked about high school—he brought it up. I told him how proud I am of him. He is my son and that is all that is required to make him shine in my eyes, in my heart. I encourage him to succeed, not to make him more acceptable, but to launch him into the best future possible, to make the dreams God has planted in him come true for him. It was a pretty sweet dance
These milestones undoubtedly make us, as parents, stop and ask, “Have I done all that I could do?” And, inevitably, the answer is, ‘No, I’ve fallen short.” At least I know I have fallen short. I make silent vows for the future, vows I won’t take lightly. And in these moments I’m always tempted to slip into regret, to dwell on the things I should have done….
For tonight, I leave regrets behind and rest, knowing God holds my children in His heart. He has a good plan for their lives and will redeem our imperfect parenting. I thank God that He was always there for me and I can trust Him with my children.
© Trudy Metzger 2012