It doesn’t seem like that long ago that I was listening to Def Leppard. Hysteria was my first cassette tape.
It doesn’t seem that long ago that I walked down the aisle and said I Do.
It doesn’t seem that long ago that I breathlessly watched our first ultrasound and heard the precious heartbeat for the first time.
It doesn’t seem that long ago that I read parenting books like survivor manuals.
It doesn’t seem that long ago that I couldn’t leave the house without Cheerios, plastic cups with lids and diapers without end. When bed time stories signaled the end of the day, leaving a few short hours of quiet.
It doesn't seem that long ago that I heard my mother’s warning that this would go too fast. That they grow up too quickly.
It doesn’t seem that long ago that school supply lists and homework assignments whirled through the house until the final days of May when summer was the highlight of life.
It doesn’t seem that long ago that soccer games, driver’s education and prom dates were lively conversation around family dinner.
But now I can see it. And I hear myself offer the same warning to younger friends, “It goes so fast. Enjoy them while you can.”
And I can see they too, can hear it, but can’t see it.
It doesn’t seem that long ago. The days are so long but the years are short.
But now there’s time to lift my head and see that I have turned another year older. I notice there are more gray hair on my head, little wispy strands of white.
It doesn’t seem that long ago that I moaned in disdain at their appearance.
But today, I don’t mind the gray. Or the fine lines I see around my mouth. They crept in quietly and never left.
I see them like a threshold, a doorway I’ve walked through, finally. It is time. There’s less thrashing about in this season, like finding my own voice in my 20’s. I survived the sleepless nights and exhausting days of motherhood in my 30’s and now I’m here, rested and more experienced.
The incoming gray hair and the laugh lines are to me, a sign of survival. They are permission to break from the furtive work of becoming and rest in the present. To be.
I’m able to see who I am and who I am is 44 years old. And there’s a peaceful confidence that comes with the knowing.
It doesn’t seem that long ago…
But today…today I’m here.