But sometimes when we're standing in too close it can still be hard to see.
Especially when we realized that the first batch was taken only two years and a couple of months before the second.
Two years. A blip. A blur!
And yet also a lifetime, during which Sage in particular transformed from little boy into young man.
These images, caught at precisely the right moment (the first just before a major growth spurt and the latter just after) illuminated for me how very quickly these years unfold.
Because suddenly, here we stand.
I'm no longer the mother of young children.
The living room floor is free of toys, replaced instead by books and projects and research. The laundry is free of diapers, replaced by a another pair of jeans in the same size as Pete's and my own. The work of running a family – from caring for animals to cooking meals to laundry and dishes and housekeeping – no longer rests on the shoulders of adults alone, but is divide evenly among us.
I am no longer the mother of young children. I am instead the mom of a young man and a young lady, both of them on the cusp of grown.
In an instant it happened. And here we stand.
And as I look into these eyes and these faces I am lost for words but awash with gratitude for the time we have invested in these hearts, these minds, and these relationships.
However imperfect my mothering journey has been, today I am thankful for each time I managed to chose connection instead correction. I'm glad for the times I made space to play, or made time to refill my own cup so I would have more patience tomorrow. I'm grateful for the moments when – after I blew it as a mother – I found the humble courage to apologize. I'm grateful for listening without judgement and for simply holding space.
I am crazy about my kids, you guys. As my kids, yes, but mostly as people. They are bright and kind and interesting and passionate. It isn't always easy (what worthwhile thing is?) and there are days when we're all in over our heads. (Exhibit A: me, the past two days, blowing it again and again.) But my dominant take-away is that being a mother is the most difficult, rewarding, transformative job I have ever had.
I feel so grateful to have been here to witness, however blurred, their constant transformation toward adulthood.
And today I'm surprised to discover that I carry more confidence about them than worry, perhaps for the first time.
Because now more than ever I'm aware that it's not kids I am raising – it's adults I am gently attempting to shape.
Though my time as a mother of kids (actual kids) is fleeting indeed, I am doing my best to raise them to be relentless questioners; forces for justice; and authentically, unapologetically, joyfully themselves.
It's the least I can do.
Because it is exactly what they have both done for me.