I have this reoccurring nightmare. I’m driving with my children, I apply the brakes and the car keeps going. We’re not going fast and we’re not out of control, but I can’t stop, nonetheless. I wake up shaken. It’s a vivid and frequent nightmare that I remember each time.
I recently reflected on this dream, and here’s the thing, time is passing quickly. My son is less than three years from flying the nest and my daughter is only three years behind. I want to pump the brakes. I want to slow down time and make it expand. I want to hold them close and cherish each snuggle, hug and smile.
Older, wiser friends tell me that the next stage is just as special in its own way. You get to appreciate your children and relate to them as adults. You get to watch them sprout wings and fly. You get to see them become the amazing people you know they can be. And, I’ve also heard they don’t really leave. The infamous boomerang effect; which by the way, I’m totally OK with.
I understand this intellectually, but I still want to pump the brakes. I want to pull them close and tickle their soft skin. I want to gaze at them as they sleep. I want to sit and talk to them for hours. I simply want them around.
And, I want them to succeed. I want them to dream big and go after things. I want them to find love. I want them to find their passion and live it. I want them to see how big the world is and appreciate how the small things matter. I want the world for them.
So now, when I wake from this dream, I realize that it’s about this time in our lives. This time when they are naturally pulling away and clinging close. It’s about the push and pull of the teen years. It’s about celebrating all that is to come and cherishing all they has been. It’s about living in the now. So instead of pumping the brakes, let’s enjoy the scenery.