The Bittersweet Year

Girls CSDA

This is a bittersweet year in our house. Often only in hindsight can this be known, but I started 2015 already aware of it. My oldest daughter is home this semester, working and commuting to college to keep more money in her pocket. The younger daughter is in her senior year of high school, and so, these next 6 and a half months are the last ones we will spend as a family unit all residing together. Once the summer draws to a close so will that period of our lives. They will both head off to college dorms for the year. It is both an exciting and poignant time. Time slipped away as it always does, and the days of picture books, playgrounds and parent nights are part of the past. To say it seems like yesterday when I took the above image is not quite accurate, as I was aware of them growing up and away each year. It just doesn’t quite seem possible that they are both set to step out on their own without the return to home that almost every night has brought in the past. The feeling of melancholy come more from the “we will never pass this way again” fact of life than from the passage of childhood and parenting, their childhoods are now fully part of their pasts and the bounty and feelings of limitlessness of the future are on their doorsteps. I look to friends who have grown children to see how they have navigated this time as it is in many ways stranger than becoming a parent. My husband and I will become “just adults” again, with more of ourselves to ourselves, which after 19 years of parenting will be a big shift. Time will acquire a different trajectory, no longer governed by the school calendar or homework assignments to clear off the table. I am trying to savor each part of this fleeting time, even the ones where they are arguing over hair products, bathroom time and music, as all to soon the house will fall quiet, and this bittersweet year will come to an end.

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