“The sun never sets. It just becomes some else’s dawn.”
This week, I gathered together four photographs of my oldest daughter, Whitney, to send off for her upcoming third grade “Fun Finale” day slide show, which will be taking place in June. This is a tradition at Steward School, where the children officially celebrate their completion of grades K-3, before moving on to Proctor School next year. Like any mother, there were a few lumps in my throat as I sorted through 48 months of old pictures. Those were the years I had dozens of photos for every month, so I sat for a couple of hours, studying them all. I was in the thick of capturing every milestone: Whitney losing her first tooth, Tom getting his “big boy” bed, Hadley’s first steps. Now I find myself struggling to remember to even pack the camera, and too often I settle for I-phone photos.
My first instinct was to emotionally crumble at the thought of my little girl’s last nine years passing in the blink of an eye. I’ve come into contact with countless strangers along this nine-year journey who stop me and say, “She’s beautiful. Enjoy her. It goes by so fast.” In the moment, their words seemed so hollow, and I felt totally unaffected. Now that we are crossing through this milestone, I can’t think help thinking of one of my favorite Ralph Waldo Emerson quotes:”The years teach much which the days never knew.”
I ended up choosing these pictures. The transformation from new kindergartener to confident, sweet, book-loving third grader can be seen below…
First day of kindergarten, September 2008
A month before first grade, August 2009
Summer 2010, before second grade
9th birthday trip to New York City, January 2012
What I love about this year is also what I hate about it most: the fact that as Whitney embarks on her new adventures, Hadley’s turn comes next. An ending for one is a beginning for another, and on and on we roll. Forever grateful and blessed I feel for the gift of motherhood. I remind myself to embrace each day in the recognition of how quickly it feels like the current of time is rushing by.
Have a great weekend.