My heart always feels very nostalgic in the fall. It’s my favorite season. I really consider it my January 1. It represents so many beginnings and endings for me.
I vividly remember the fall that held my last home football game during my senior year of high school. The clock hit “0:00” and my friends and I ran out to the 50 yard line. We sat down huddled in a circle under those lights. We just held on to each other and cried. Wearing our uniforms and purple letter jackets, we were old enough to know that things would never be the same again. Those glorious Friday nights held us together, but we were being released.
There is no big clock up in the sky or bright lights flooding over me today, but fall is creeping up and change is sure to come with it. In reality, it is just another Monday morning, and here I sit at my kitchen table in my yoga pants. The to-do lists are calling my name, but I am not ready to make my way through them just yet. For a minute, I have to stop and hold on just like I did before.
It’s the first day of school at our house and it’s a really big year. Our daughter is starting 4th grade. This age is hitting me harder than other years. Her being this old is something I never thought would actually happen, but here we are. I remember how significant 4th grade was for me and how much it pulled me towards growing up.
A part of me aches desperately to go back, but another part of me realizes that this is exactly where we are supposed to be. Right here, her at nine years old and me as her mama, loving her just as hard as I possibly can every minute of every day.
Yesterday, I sat down beside my sweet girl. I looked into those big blue eyes that have been looking up at me for as long as I can remember. I did my best to remind her who she is. I told her all the things that make her so special. Like that her outward beauty is only surpassed by the beauty of her heart and she has such a big purpose in this world. I told her she is compassionate and creative, and she sees the best in people. I told her she was a great listener and a friend like none other. I told her that she is funny and so smart. I begged her to never forget all these things, no matter what, and to love herself enough to always remember her value.
She went downstairs afterwards and I heard her tell my husband in passing, “Me and mama just had a really good talk.” I smiled and prayed. “Lord, by the grace of God, help us get the big things right.”
Fortunately, there is lots of time still left on our clock in this season of parenting before a bigger release comes. Sometimes, the days do feel long and tough; but days like today make it feel like it is so very short and wonderful.
We aren’t really in the beginning or even at the ending of anything just yet. We are just sitting together somewhere right in the very middle of it all being held together tightly, by yet, another fall.