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How to Stop Time

2018 June 11

I was just here.

The frenetic energy of the last day of school. A yard full of kids hollering and laughing and letting go of all their cares, as if they are physically throwing them into the air. Moms and dads and teachers beaming with excitement. With relief. With nervousness. The hot sun pounding down above you and the warm concrete sizzling below you. Hundreds of bodies, big and small, finding their way into a messy human corridor with a long open walkway straight down the middle.

“Please join us to celebrate our fifth graders as they walk off campus for the last time ever!” bellows the principal’s deep voice in his mic.

The human corridor roars to life. A timely tradition that marks the last day of every year. A sea of hands throwing out high fives. Parents with tears in their eyes as they watch their young, almost adolescents take their final bow as big kids. I push my own two kids into the mix, urging them to go and give high fives, to show those kids support as they move onto a new chapter in their lives and leave the comfort of this old one behind.

“Some day, that’s going to be you!” I say to them, excitedly.

“Some day, that’s going to be you,” my heart whispers to me quietly.

I was just here.

And I am about to be here again. In just a few short days. Mine will be the fifth grader taking her final walk off campus. Mine will be the big kid holding out her hands for high fives and fist bumps from friends and semi strangers. Mine will be the one leaving the comfort of her cocoon and that deep voice she knows so well and moving onto her next chapter with bright eyes, an apprehensive heart and a busy mind.

But I was just here.

Last year was yesterday. First grade just happened. She was only born a moment ago.

I want to stop time. I want to freeze in this moment and watch these other big kids take their bow and then stop it right there. I want morning hugs and non-stop chatter about baseball and middle of the night pleas for…anything. I want little hands that can’t quite control the milk carton and questions about Saturn and bowls of homemade popcorn. I want family movie nights and road trips that require booster seats and last days of school. Forever.

My daughter is beyond ready to move onto middle school this week. She is so excited and prepared, both emotionally and academically. And in a few years, she will be ready to leave that behind and move onto high school. And college and whatever else lies ahead. And a few years behind her, in synchronicity, her brother will do the same. They will keep progressing and growing and moving forward with time flying right alongside them, every step of the way.

And I won’t be able to stop a thing. Nor will I want to in a lot of ways, I know. My days will change and their needs will, too. My role will evolve and their paths will find their own way. My memories will find new companions in the years to come and my mind will store them away, wrapping them in delicate paper and keeping them safe.

But my heart will stop time. In this moment.

In this time of reflection and appreciation and sadness and gratitude. In this chapter where change is coming and despite everything I tell myself, I know it’s good. My heart will stop time in this moment. And in all the other important ones that mark our lives. Their childhood. My motherhood. My heart will stop time in those moments. These moments.

And never let it go.

6 Responses
  1. Pamela Mixon permalink
    June 12, 2018

    Oh my heart. Your words are so moving. This is me too. My eldest just graduated from 6th grade, and will move on to middle school in the fall. Days you thought were years away are suddenly upon you.

    • WWGD permalink*
      June 18, 2018

      Absolutely. Thanks so much for your note, Pamela. x

  2. Ana Patiño permalink
    June 13, 2018

    That was so good. Thank you.

    • WWGD permalink*
      June 18, 2018

      Thank you, Ana! x

  3. Erin permalink
    June 19, 2018

    So beautifully written and so true. My daughter is going into grade 4 next year and son into grade 2 – here we are in June again…..Thank you for your inspiring posts.

    • WWGD permalink*
      July 3, 2018

      Thanks for taking the time to read it, Erin! Hope you guys have a lovely summer. x

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