Ferris Bueller said it best, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Those of you with kids know exactly what he’s talking about. Life moves pretty fast.
There comes a point in many families where everyday life becomes a blur of ortho appointments, piano lessons, sports practices, homework, games, meetings- the works. It seems like one minute your kids are running around at your feet, the next you’re just plain running them around. Just when you think you may have time to breathe, somebody else needs a ride, has a game, needs help with their homework, has a piano lesson, gets sick, has dance practice… life can be downright exhausting. Some days you just need to take time to breathe, you need to stop and look around before you miss it, but if you do that, you’ll be undoubtedly be late picking somebody up from somewhere.
There were times when my kids were at their busiest that I would have given my right arm for one minute, just one, to not be on the road to somewhere. One minute, just one, to breathe. One minute to stop and look around before I missed it. Life moves pretty fast.
Oddly enough though, I began to love life on the road. I began to secretly cherish the time in the car with my kids. For a few minutes of every day we got to be together before they were off to their next event. Better yet were the times we trekked to the cities or someplace farther away then one of the MACCRAY schools– we always had the best road trips. Those rides in the car became my time to breathe.
Then suddenly, it seems, the kids were off to college. Life really does move fast. Wasn’t it just yesterday they were telling me how they didn’t want to leave home to go to college so they probably weren’t going to go, unless of course I could drive them there? I remember telling them that by the time they were old enough to go to college, they would actually want to be leaving the house. They looked at me like I was a crazy lady.
The hub and I have been pretty fortunate so far as the kid’s college choices have been in close proximity to our home, two at Ridgewater and one at Northwestern, only a few hours away. Life is still moves pretty fast as the two youngest are active in collegiate sports but we have always felt blessed that we can travel to watch them most of the time. We get to see our kids quite often and absolutely love the rare times that the whole family is at home (I completely understand now why my parents don’t care when we invite ourselves over for dinner) yet we still have a bit of time to ourselves. Empty nesthood for us has quite frankly been a breeze, that is until a couple of weeks ago when the biggest road trip of our lives changed everything.
Our daughter, who has attended Ridgewater for the past two years, got an offer from a college in New Jersey. After several hours of research on the college and even more conversing with one of her soon-to-be coaches and a few future teammates, she made up her mind that she was going to transfer next fall, she just needed to visit the college and see the area to be absolutely sure.
So, the youngest, the daughter, and I took off for Bloomfield, New Jersey, a 2,600 mile road-trip in all. We left on a Thursday morning and were back by Sunday night. Four straight days with two of my kids was a dream come true. We had the time of our lives during those four days cruising across the country, checking out the college, and spending a whirlwind day in New York City, which is only about 15 minutes from Bloomfield.
We all fell absolutely in love with the area, the college, and the Big Apple. My daughter was bursting with excitement when she made the official commitment to attend college there next year. I was bursting with excitement for her! Life moves pretty fast… I suddenly really needed to take time to breathe.
The reality that my little girl won’t be a few short minutes away anymore began to sink in this week. It’s such a weird combination of emotions to be so incredibly happy and excited knowing that your child is going where they are meant to be and at the same time to be so absolutely terrified of not being able to spend time with them every week. I know I really need to put my big girl undies on to get through this– she is doing everything I always hoped and dreamed that she would do. Besides, we expect nothing less of her than to take the opportunities given to her. We expect nothing less of her than to follow her dreams. We can’t wait to see where life takes her.
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
Thanks Ferris for your words of wisdom. Those of you with kids know exactly what he’s talking about…