By Angela Martin
My children came to me without planning as Christmas gifts. My son John’s 18th birthday is today, and my oldest son Ryan’s 20th birthday was this past Saturday. I find myself remarkably behind in birthday and Christmas shopping, but also incredibly calm (thank you mindfulness practice). I woke today knowing I have to make a dent in the shopping, but it wasn’t with thoughts of racing to the mall, or scouring the Internet for some random thing.
“No, I want to make moments, more moments with my boys. New moments, grown up moments,” I tell myself all at once.
Life has a way easily being missed. My parents all of a sudden are growing older. My children have somehow, miraculously, grown up. I find myself in a delicate season of change where I hover between holding on and letting go. My eyes welling up as John hits send on yet another college application, or to see Ryan living out of a suitcase, knowing he will be back to school in Florida before I know it.
“Enjoy them here, now, in this moment…today,” I whisper and take a deep breath.
I was raised with the mantra that the greatest gifts we give our children are roots and wings. Today, this day when my boys became men, I see the wisdom and the timelessness of this statement perhaps more than ever. My job is still to give my children roots and wings, just in an evolving way. I will give them roots through connection, through time together. These times will happen less frequently, but will be as rich as when they were little and were always by my side. And I will continue to cheer them on from the sidelines, encouraging them, as I always have, to shine forth their gifts in this world.
“Fly my boys, fly.”