On Friday, I blogged about my youngest daughter turning 18. Like all parents of teenagers, I sometimes feel as though I want to pause the video and rewind – return to moments from long ago that I may have been too busy, too harried with this or that responsibility to have savored properly.
Sometimes I catch myself watching Olivia doing the most mundane tasks and think them extraordinary…when did she learn to park the car so expertly? to organize her suitcase so efficiently? to whip up a “Caramel Macchiato With Vanilla Bean” – smiling and chatting up a storm all the while? to fold her t-shirts so they never show a crease?
Sometimes I wish I could slow down her todays so that we can enjoy them more fully. She seems always on the go: school, and work, and play rehearsals, the gym and choir/ a Capella rehearsals…and this or that plan with friends. Every once in a while, she pauses for a few moments to chat – to bring me up to date with something she learned, heard, felt, believes in. Then, our time is up and she moves on.
Sometimes, I find myself saying, “Wait…can I have a hug before you go?” And she pauses to smile, throw her arms around me….”There you go, Mom!…Love you!” …. and then she’s out the door. Paul Janeczko’s poem is just as much about 18 year olds as it is about them when they are three: