Six Children and No Theories

Covering parenting and child development issues

Fifteen

Written by Lisa Lawmaster Hess, Community Blogger | Apr 22, 2013 5:58 PM

"Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each." (Henry David Thoreau)

Someone told me the other day that there were 30-some days of school left. While that doesn't leave me as panic-stricken now as it did when I was working in a school and realized how much I still had to do in that little bit of time, it brings me up short in a different way.

My daughter is nearly finished her freshman year of high school.

It seems as though she was just starting high school a few months ago, and now her first year is nearly behind her. Oh, sure, a few more weeks of classes, along with finals and Keystone exams loom on the horizon, but those are just the final hurdles between the start of a high school career and the beginning of sophomore year. And given the rate at which this year flew by, can graduation be that far away?

One of the benefits of being a late in life mom is that you don't take as much for granted. I've made it a point to enjoy something about every step, every stage. And, since she's an only child, I had the luxury of feeling that time moved at a less crazed pace than it might have if she had siblings.

Until recently.

I remember counting her age first in days, then in weeks, then months until finally that first birthday arrived. Even then, the milestones continued month-by-month, days flying by and achievements mounting. First tooth, first step, first bike, first day of school seemed to follow in rapid succession.

There were less desirable milestones, too - first stitches, first broken bone, first heartbreaking disappointment - but we usually didn't have to look too hard to find something good about every age and every stage.

Even now, on the days when "fifteen" causes me to grit my teeth and lose my cool, there is so much to enjoy. Still, it's bittersweet because as I watch her becoming the independent young woman we've raised her to be, I realize how hard it will be to let her go. Though I frequently complain about the noise level when she's here, it's sometimes too quiet when she's not. And when I look at the world I'm sending her out into, I just want to wrap my arms around her and never let her go.

But I won't - even if she'd stand still long enough to let me - because I raised her to stand on her own two feet, and she can't do that if she's constantly tripping over me.

And so, "fifteen" or not, I'm grateful that I still have some more time with her before she spreads her wings. It's going by too quickly, but maybe that's just God's way of reminding me to slow down and take time to enjoy this stage - warts and all - while I can, because while in some ways I'll be grateful to see "fifteen" go, I'll never be able to recapture its beauty again.

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Comments: 3

  • claudzilla5 img 2013-04-24 13:23

    Liz, I feel utterly the same way, although I'm looking at the end of first grade, not freshman year. I want my daughter, and her brother, to be their own people, but I know that in helping to foster that independence, I am making it harder for myself, because they will inevitably step away from my guiding hand.
    But it's what my mom and dad did for me, and I am forever grateful. How could I offer my kids any less?

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