There are so many times I wish I could turn back the clock, redeem a moment, a period of time, slow it down.
This feeling is never more true than when it comes to my sons.
My firstborn was gone far too soon, he and I still discovering our song, now his essence is in my heart and his memorial is on my end table.
The older two sons were raised with an "18 and out" philosophy. I thought it was my job to prepare them to be men, to be warriors, to take on their mantle and go out into the world. I wonder if I had them take on too much too soon?
My youngest son has barely left the nest and there are moments when I feel like he isn't ready, I'm not finished teaching him yet. He has been home for the winter holiday break and for the most part has been a hibernating bear. I look in his room and want to go and fold his clothes like when he was little, forcing myself to back off and let him be the young man he is becoming.
I looked into the room of my two daughters, my last two at home, and resisted the temptation to go and pick up the jeans, rearrange the doll collection, collect the legos. I am supposed to be equipping them with all they need to survive.
Yet, I want to be like other people of culture and have a family compound, each with our own quarters, but sharing common space. I want them close to me, near me.
The hardest thing I have ever had to do as a parent has been to let the children fly with the wings I gave them. I know they are strong, their span is massive, and their purpose is enormous.
I just wish I had a moment to stop time, to roll it back, to play in the sandbox one more moment. It all goes by so fast, eighteen years is not enough, I am not finished yet,
Letting go is hard, but even in that, they all know I am a text or phone call away, that the door is always open, and that mama's arms are always open.
I still have these two, even as I know the next ten years will go by so fast, I am cherishing every sound, every gesture, every moment of overhearing their dreams and their plans.
Being a parent is the hardest and most rewarding thing I have ever done. And I would do it again.