“Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.”-unknown
This quote has come to mind on every birthday I have had the past five years. Birthdays can be bittersweet, and it is easy to get caught up in the memories of the past as I contemplate being another year older. Changes are coming fast and furious during this season in my life. My oldest daughter is going into her senior year of high school and will be facing many decisions in the coming months about her future. My younger daughter is going into her freshman year of high school (although still physically at the junior high campus) and her academic pressures are sure to begin to compound. Although we have the usual issues with teen angst, arguments, and family drama, they both are well adjusted girls who enjoy school, friends, and family. My husband and I have both recently started new jobs; his continuing in the IT industry and mine in a totally new field for me, but one which I have long aspired to work in and which I absolutely love. While we are both very fortunate to have both sets of our parents in our lives; there are health issues that have arisen on both sides of our families which have presented challenges both emotional and physical. Yet, we are thankful for the fact that our children have all of their grandparents around. Life is good right now but it sometimes feels like it is moving really fast.
I am really not one to say that I wish my children were still young. Although I am eternally grateful that I had the opportunity to be a full time stay at home mom when the girls were young and remember fondly the days of playdates, gym classes, and volunteering, I really don’t miss those days. I enjoy both the independence of the girls being older and the process of watching them grow into young adults. And heaven knows I don’t wish to go back in time myself to a younger me. I feel as if I have changed and grown a tremendous amount the past few years and I wouldn’t want to go back to being the person I was in my twenties or even my thirties. But the fact that I am now nearly in my “mid –forties” is a bit jolting when I think about it.
Time does march on; in the sage words of Stevie Nicks “time makes you bolder, even children get older, I’m getting older too.” Kids grow up, we grow older, and our parents age. The faces we see both in the mirror and of those we love often aren’t the faces that we often see in our mind’s eye. The fact is that we cannot slow time. The clock continues to tick; the minutes turn to hours which turn to days which turn to weeks and then years. Another birthday comes and goes and another candle is on the cake. On birthdays and every day, we should remember that if we are lucky, we get both the privilege of growing older and the wisdom to appreciate that privilege.
Karri Temple Brackett