Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear.
I have often felt this way about parenting.
So much of who our children are, and who they ultimately become, was already there all along, mere glimpses in the side-view mirror.
And in the end so many things that seemed so important at the time—her struggle to make friends in elementary school, his terrible handwriting that prompted more than one parent-teacher conference—just really didn’t matter.
What mattered most was and is love. Love at every stage.
Loving the infant who needs you for everything. When you are their entire world and they are yours.
Loving the inquisitive toddler taking tentative steps and testing limits.
Loving the preschooler so sweet and curious, still eager to share the details of her day with her mom.
Loving the mercurial teenager, navigating the difficulties and pressures of middle school and high school. Trying your patience and discovering a newfound independence that makes you miss the way things used to be.
And now this glorious stage. Loving these stunning young adults.
Our children become exactly who they were always meant to be.
And we, their parents, are still here. Here with our arms that held them when they cried and our lips that kissed their feverish foreheads and our hearts that broke when theirs did.
We are still here to nurture when they need nurturing, to guide when they seek guidance and to love them always, because our love is forever.
Watching our children BECOME is a beautiful stage.
In fact it may just be the most breathtaking stage of all.