Yesterday, my daughter experienced a rite of passage. She passed her driving test and received her driver's license. She was ecstatic. I was happy for her, but a little uneasy at the idea of turning a vehicle over to her to drive without a parent as a passenger. Don't get me wrong, she's a good driver (as good as a teenager gets), but the idea of her driving by herself made me scared and sad at the same time.
My oldest daughter will soon also experience a rite of passage as she leaves for college. She is excited, as she should be, to enter this new phase of her life and move away from home. Though I know it's time for her to do this, it still leaves me a little empty that she will leave our home and go out on her own.
My oldest child, a son, is currently serving a mission for the LDS church in Rome, Italy. I still haven't quite recovered from sending my newborn son out into the world (though having him on a mission eases the sting a bit).
The high school musical this fall will be, "Fiddler on the Roof." Since my daughters are involved in theater (as are all of my children), they plan to audition for the musical and have been listening to the soundtrack all summer. When the song, "Sunrise, Sunset," plays I have to stop and listen because it so aptly describes the way I feel. How did my babies grow so fast? Where has the time gone? How did my son become old enough to serve a mission, my daughter old enough to leave for college, and my third child old enough to obtain a driver's license?
"Is this the little girl I carried, is this the little boy at play? I don't remember growing older, when did they?"
Yes, I still have many children at home, but they are all growing as well. Time slips by so fast and the older I get, the faster it seems to go. I've tried to absorb every drop of my newborns, spend time with my toddlers reading books and playing, and generally enjoy all the moments of my children's lives.
"When did she get to be a beauty, when did he grow to be so tall? Wasn't it yesterday when they were small?"
And, yet, I feel as though they're growing so quickly I can't even catch my breath.
"Sunrise, sunset. Sunrise, sunset, swiftly flow the days. Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers, blossoming even as we gaze. Sunrise, sunset. Sunrise, sunset. Swiftly fly the years."
While it's wonderful that my children are realizing their goals and dreams, it still leaves me wondering where all the time has gone and how very short the day is between sunrise and sunset.