My eldest son of 21 D.J. (short for Daniel Joshua), got married a few months ago. To say that I am still adjusting to my new reality is understating the situation. We absolutely adore his wife Chelsea, but as his Mother, I wrestle with the notion of him being married. Not because I mind him being married… but because 5 minutes ago he was a baby. At least, that’s how it feels. To add to the constant whiplash that is adult children, I will be a grandmother in June of this year.
The last 21 years has been the fastest 5 minutes of my life.
Our 3 ‘children’, are now 21, 19 and 18 . DJ is halfway through a double degree at UNSW. Ella (18) has commenced her final year of school. She has 1 term left in her school life. In grade 5 she informed me with quiet determination, that she was going to work hard and become School Captain one day. She is School Captain and an exceptional student.
Mikaela (19) started a double degree at UNSW last year. Her first year of University should have been a cross between hard work and a fairy tale but life never got that memo. She had one of those years that life throws at you and you learn what it feels like to be in the wrong place. After a spiral downwards, she picked herself up and made some brave decisions. She changed universities, courses and directions. As I write this, she is sitting on the lounge 2 meters away diligently working on her semester one course work.
When I step back, there’s so much to be proud of. I AM proud of them but not in the arrogant way or even the way people would expect. I’m proud of the inner strengths that produce the outer successes. Strong faith anchors their lives and strong character supports them in this crazy-mixed-up-world they must navigate. At the end of the day, my kids are really nice people. I enjoy their company. We can often be found laughing together. I value their opinions and what they know for ones so young. They constantly teach me. I watch them work hard to bring their dreams into reality. They have a deep sense of hope for the future. I am proud of who they are becoming.
Sometimes I get asked what we did, as if it were a magic formula. As parents we want to believe that a + b will equal c. As I write, I ponder the thought that ‘if I was to offer you one piece of advise from the shortest 21 years or the longest 5 minutes of my life, what would I say?‘. Many thoughts come to mind but I find myself saying YES to this one…
You have today and today matters.
How you speak to your children today matters. What you teach them today matters. The way you shape their character today matters. The small decisions that are difficult but you know they are right…they matter. You have today with your children. Make good decisions for them and with them. There’s no decision that doesn’t shape them in some way. Each decision you make is a seed sown into their lives. Each seed is going to produce what it is designed to produce in their future. You keep making decisions for your children’s lives and they ALL matter. The small and the large.
5 minutes later you’re almost a grandmother, wondering where the last 21 years went.
Post-script – life threw us an unexpected curve-ball on March 24thof this year. Baby Roanna Iva was born nine weeks early by emergency c-section. At birth she weighed in at 1.2kgs. The day she was born will be forever fixed in my memory. We walked alongside our beloved big- kids as they traversed ‘the NICU journey’ with their premmie baby-girl for 8 weeks. Baby Ro is home now and weighs in at over 3kgs. She smiled for the first time yesterday. The grandma experience is so different. I am still adjusting, still learning, still trying to play catch up with my new season. I don’t know if I have words to describe how much I love this little person. What I do know… is that in the future, saying ‘no’ to anything she asks of me with those big blue eyes, will be almost impossible!