The nurse at my daughter’s kindergarten checkup warned me how much harder it is to bear when our youngest child starts school.
I looked at her in disbelief until I remembered the feelings I faced when my oldest headed off to school.
So many milestones come showing me my kids are aging and things won’t always be as they are. They won’t always believe I can make the world ok, want to cuddle, or think I’m the best at picking out clothes. I won’t always be washing and combing my little girl’s hair. I won’t always have the privileged information of knowing about the pretty blond girl who smells like fruity lip balm, who sits behind my son.
With each and every milestone, I’m reminded to give thanks and refuse sorrow. It’s a blessing they are growing, expanding their capabilities, and are living.
I’m so happy my kids are growing up.
This last year as been spent in hospitals, boarding planes for treatments afar, and spending most days simply surviving.
My mind flashes back to the night I stood shivering in the ER. The words had washed over me, but I understood them. My 4 year old daughter’s brain was filled with a mass the size of a grown man’s fist and we were being transferred to the nearest children’s hospital. Suddenly the concussion I had brought her in for after she hit her head on the slide, was only a concern due to it’s potential delay of surgery.
I looked at her though the glass, my heart clenching in my chest, feeling like I was losing her. There wouldn’t be more birthday parties, no watching her grow older, and what she’d endure was too much to bear. I realized I wasn’t breathing and as I drew the next breath the realization hit me: if she wasn’t in my arms, she’d be in Jesus’s. She would never be lost. He’d have her. He always has.
It was the only thing that made it bearable then and every day since.
So many days going to school felt like such a far off goal. She spent the mornings laying in the hallway refusing to get up or move more than she had to. Between emergency room trips, hospital stays, and traveling states away for treatment, a lot of life became a pipe dream.
My eyes filled with unspilled tears at the nurse’s words. Thank God my little girl is growing older. Thank God she’s able to go to school and make new friends and laugh, sing, and play. Thank God she’s here now and she’s growing up. I’m so very grateful for the time we’ve had and whatever time we will.
While it’s easy to feel what we’re losing watching our babies starting school and passing other milestones, this journey isn’t about us. It’s about them. It’s about who God is calling them to be and the path they’re to take. As I see my daughter’s excited smile, I know I decide how I see and feel about life changing. I’m grasping it and thanking God we’re made to grow and change, to be transformed more like His Son.
Kylie is a freelance writer, blogger, and traumatic brain injury survivor. She lives finding light in tragedies, and encouraging others to believe there’s a plan. God can bring good where there is none. Her smile and confidence inspire the least likely to believe. Kylie lives a very real life in Nebraska with her two kids.