Monday, October 5, 2009

I Don't Have to Guess

We had such a great time with our daughters at their university's Parent's Weekend. Personally, I think there should be a Parents Week...a weekend isn't nearly long enough.

I love walking into the airport inSouth Carolina and seeing my girl with the bright blue eyes and dancing smile. Can I really have children old enough to be picking me up at the airport? Wasn't I just in a car pool line collecting them from preschool? I guess not.

We hug. We grab our luggage. We hug some more. We walk outside and there is my other girl with the bright blue eyes and dancing smile waiting with the car. We hug and she takes us to her apartment. Can I really have children old enough to live in an apartment? Weren't they just using every quilt and blanket I own to build a fort in the family room? I guess not.

We go downtown for dinner and have a wonderful family meal in a restaurant called Smoke on the Water. The girls with the bright blue eyes and dancing smiles have booked a table there. Can I really have children old enough to organize dinner reservations? Weren't they just happily stirring up cookie batter while standing on a chair in my kitchen? I guess not.

Saturday dawns and the sky is the bluest shade of blue with not a cloud in sight. The temperature is perfection. We meander around the beautiful campus to the sorority tailgate luncheon. Barbeque and friends and girls in dresses and sunshine. We catch up with the parents of roomates and we are united in our confusion. Can I really have a child who is graduating from college this year? Weren't we just moving her into that very first dorm room, crying as we got back on a plane to England...wondering what in the world we were doing leaving our first born baby on this side of the ocean while we were on the other? I guess not.

Soon our girl2 with the big blue eyes and the dancing smile joins us and she is wearing her official cheerleading uniform and we laugh at the school logo temporarily tattooed on her soft sweet cheek. Can I really have a child old enough to perform on a college cheerleading team? Wasn't she just scaring the living daylights out of us with three sets of stitches before her third birthday, with the fearless way in which she would careen down the wooden steps of our house, with her daredevil look mom no hands! trick that she loved to perform on the brand new bicycle she only that day had learned to ride? I guess not.

We go to the game with our girl1 with the big blue eyes and the dancing smile and we sit on the front row. The three of us watch our girl2 with the big blue eyes and the dancing smile as she jumps and lifts and laughs and flies on the field. And we hold our breath and our faces ache from smiling. Can I really have a child who is old enough to stand on a football field in a university stadium? Wasn't she just sitting on my lap while I read Brown Bear Brown Bear to her for the 98th time? I guess not.

Later we go to dinner with the girls with the big blue eyes and the dancing smiles and friends come too and a boyfriend. Can I really have a child who is old enough for a boyfriend? Wasn't she just six years old, promising to take her Daddy to her highschool prom? I guess not.

Sunday comes too fast too soon and its time to get back on a plane and go home and leave the girls with the bright blue eyes and the dancing smiles once again. Time to give hugs and kisses and parting words of wisdom about work and life and fun and balance and God and love. Can I really have children who are old enough to live on their own, manage their own schedules and commitments, make their own decisions, who are best friends and look out for one another? Wasn't I just driving them to ballet? Sitting thru a piano lesson? Supervising homework? Building a sandcastle? Tucking them into bed? I guess not.

Can I really have children who are slowly but surely standing in the world of nearly all grown up?

I guess so.
Is it wonderful and astonishing and mind boggling and scary and bittersweet and amazing?
I don't have to guess.

I know.


  1. **sigh** I'm not ready.
    Your girls are beautiful.

  2. Joyce,

    What a great tribute of a then and now with your girls. My favorite picture is them looking at the setting sun. That is beautiful! Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

  3. Sigh :)
    What a beautiful tribute to two beautiful girls with big blue eyes and dancing smiles! Wasn't it yesterday when we were in college? I guess not.

  4. What a lovely post! Now excuse me while I wipe some tears away and walk my little ones to school. :)

  5. Oh my, Joyce, that was beautiful and moving and almost tear-jerking. I had to jerk back my tears. You have incredible girls and they have a beautiful, loving mama. I read what you write and it resonates with me deeply knowing full well that these times for me are lurking around the corner, not too far away.

    So glad you had some time with them and shared it with us.

  6. Oh my . . . let me get the kleenex. I can so relate. {sigh}
    This was beautifully said. Your girls are beautiful and a great testament to you and their Dad.

  7. Your girls are beautiful! Easy to see why you are a proud mom. A great post with a then-and-now theme. Donna

  8. I feel the same way about my children. Where did the time go?
    Your girls are beautiful and I think it's great that they are so close and
    attend school together. What special memories they will always share of these fun times.
    Looks like it was a very fun weekend for all!

  9. What a beautiful post, Joyce...*tears*....your daughters are just beautiful. I've thought many of the same thoughts and felt the same emotions as our son is now married and gone, but not far, thankfully. :-)
    Those first few weeks and months of empty-nesting were very emotional for both my husband and me. My dear husband shed more tears during that time than he had in 23 years of marriage. But we are three years down the road from them and we are now caring for our 9-month-old grandson, so our nest is not so empty any longer. :-)