On the Day Before December

As I count the days until December, my favorite month of the year, I am finding myself struck with shock and horror. How are we knocking on the door of the final month of the year while my precious first child is experiencing so many lasts? Last Christmas parade, last time choreographing and dancing in the Holiday Cabaret. Last December in high school.

Fall semester felt so very full with applications and responsibilities to various commitments, to her coursework and to her friends. At times it has been heavy and exhausting and I have wanted the applications and conversations about college to end so we can sip and savor the moments we have with our senior.

The rest of the family has continued on their own paths, their lives marching forward with practices and musicals and they are less aware of the lasts. But I am acutely aware of the teenage time warp that we are experiencing; accompanied by less family dinners and movie nights, fewer slow weekend moments, and the sand slipping through the hourglass. I have never quite counted the months the way I am counting them now. The memories. The moments. My heart feels heavy.

And yet.

I know that for everything there is a season. I know that moving forward is her only option. I feel like I am holding in tension the need to linger in the lasts, but celebrate her new chapter that is ahead. Really soon we will be moving in to a season of firsts. Isn’t that what life really is? A season of firsts and lasts? So as much as I find myself in shock and horror by the speed of which this semester has flown, I want to meet that moment with gratitude and grace, knowing that there is a celebration on the other side of this season. There is a beautifully baked young woman that is ready to spread her wings and fly. I cannot nor do I want to pull her back into the nest.

This December may I be fully present. May we bake cookies, watch Christmas movies, may there be big kid snuggles and lots of candles. May I be fully present this month loving not loathing the lasts, and may I be ready to celebrate the season of firsts that is upon us.

Thinking of each person who is walking a road of lasts and firsts. May we find the courage together to be fully present in the now. May we show up for today with all that we have in us, and somehow slow the pace enough to savor this Christmas season.

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