Saturday, March 13, 2010

"Who Knows Where the Time Goes?"

It’s happened. There was nothing I could do to stop it. The sun is shining and the birds are singing in celebration. Messages are coming in by phone, by text, by Twitter and facebook. In a while, family will gather and share food and drink and memories. Today, my Anna - my baby, my child, my little girl - officially becomes an adult.

And me? I want to stand on a mountain and wail. I want to tell God, “No wait, I need more time. I need to rock her to sleep once more. I need to brush those long, soft curls and twist them into thick braids one more time. I need to tie her shoes and tie ribbons in her hair again. I’m not ready, Lord. I’m just not ready. I do want her to set the world on fire and do great things. Really. I do. But I want her to do it tomorrow. I need her to be my little girl for just a while longer. Please? Please?

But I'll dry my tears, put on my happy face and join family and friends in a private room at a local restaurant for a quiet evening. (At least as quiet as our family can be.) There will be no laptop slideshow in the corner looping photographic evidence of the cuteness that is Anna. There will be no DJ playing all of her favorite songs as background music. There will be no fireworks in the backyard after dinner. There will, however, be love and laughter and ice cream cake as we celebrate her 21st birthday.

No, no slideshow in the corner. But there’ll be one playing in my head. I’ll see her as a 3-year old, standing in front of the television, a pacifier in each hand and one in her mouth, head bobbing as she sings along with The Little Mermaid. I’ll see that look of silent laughter on her face; the one that means something is so funny that out-loud laughter is darn near impossible. I’ll see how she looks when she’s trying very hard not to roll her eyes and scream when I still don’t get what she’s trying to explain about Photoshop or how Office is different from Works. I’ll see how she looked laying on that stretcher after the wreck and how she looked as a baby sleeping in her crib.

The background music that plays will be heard only in my heart. I’ll hear There’s a Hole In My Bucket for the 100,000,000th time. I’ll hear Hanson and The Backstreet Boys. My ears will bleed when I hear POD and I’ll smile when I hear the Beatles because she and her daddy love them so much.

I’ll hear other music, too. I’ll hear her little girl giggles and her grown up laughter. I’ll hear the excitement in her voice when she talks to me about her life now and her plans for her future. I’ll hear her call Mommy for the 50th time in twenty minutes. I’ll hear her sing when she doesn’t think I’m listening. And I’ll hear her say, “Love you, too.”

And, it turns out, there will be fireworks. The same fireworks that have gone off in my soul since the day she was born. The same fireworks that explode in my very spirit when I think about how blessed I am to be her mother and her friend.

♪ ♪ Who knows how my love grows?

And who knows where the time goes? ♪ ♪

~Sandy Denny

Lyrics written by a woman about her lover, but quoted by a mother who’s love for her daughter is boundless and who finds herself, today, wondering where the time goes.



Martha said...

Okay, I'm bawling! Bee, we were born to be mothers of children. I have cut the apron strings, but the heart strings--never.

Happy Birthday, Anna! And celebrate yourself, Bee! You've raised her to be an amazing young woman. Take a minute to pat yourself on the back and revel in the woman she is--because of you!

Dawn said...

and tears! oh, there are tears here. i love that slideshow... and the singing and the "love you too." and the fireworks in your soul? oh i know they are a sight to see. thank you... for sharing this love today.

( and i love that your are also fans of henry & liza! wait. i am feeling the urge to sing!)

love ya... have fun celebrating!

Cat said...

What a girl! I remember sitting in Momma's "chair", holding the infant Anna,feeding her a bottle. You said, "you don't have to do that", but I did. My only brother's little baby girl. You are a wonderful mother and the best wife of us all. I love you and am so very thankful that you are my friend.

Cat said...

I remember sitting in Momma's "chair" holding an infant Anna, feeding her a bottle. You said "you don't have to do that", but I did, my only brother's beautiful baby girl..what pleasure that was for me...I can still see the look on your face, smiling at me, while I was rocking and feeding your girl.

You are a wonderful mother and wife. Your friendship is a gift from God. I praise Him each day for you.

Anonymous said...

beautiful post, Bee.....your way with words is eloquent......i feel your your feelings too, about my Kristen.....please give a happy birthday hug to Anna for me.....


Rebekah said...

Happy Birthday, Anna!

And welcome back, Bee!

Allie and Pattie said...

Oh, Bee. I SO get it. I'm watching them grow every day and a big part of me hates it. Big hugs to Anna and to you. You have a lot to be proud of and thankful for
xoxo Pattie

Doodles said...

Bee even without having a child I get it............I get that Anna is so very lucky to have you and her Daddy as her parents and I get that Anna is one very special child (sorry Anna you will always be their child ;)to them) Yep Miz Anna you are one very special human. Going for another tissue.

JulyG319 said...

Goosebumps.....normally I get goosebumps reading your writing but I got them in spades reading this post! Your writing is beautiful but when you describe your love for your daughter and your reluctance to let her grow up, well, there are no words to describe how beautiful your writing is.

You and Anna have a wonderful relationship, one that I know you both treasure so much. Give Anna big birthday hug from her momma's soul sister and bask in the knowledge that you've raised a wonderful daughter!

Love you!

deb said...

Oh dear mamma, this bittersweet who could have told us love.
Happy Birthday to your daughter, and to you too!

This was exquisite. Exquisite.

and I hope you are otherwise fine, it is wonderful to hear your voice.

Sweet Annabelle said...

What a wonderful tribute to your daughter! It sounds like her childhood was more than wonderful - her adulthood will be too!

Tee said...

That was beautiful Bee.

Tee said...

And a belated "happy birthday" to Miss Anna.

deb said...

Wishing you a belated Happy Mother's Day.
Hope it was love filled.

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

Oh, Bee! I just happened by your beautiful blog, and I am so glad I did! What a stunning tribute to your dear little girl, all grown up! I know EXACTLY how you feel. My little girl turned into an adult a couple of years ago and has gotten married. IT IS STILL HARD! Don't we love that they are doing well and that God is using them in big and small ways? Don't we love that they are wonderul young women who are independent and productive.

Don't we cry in our hearts and because we did not have enough time.

I know exactly how you feel! And I think your daughter must too! What a wonderul gift to her to be such a treasure!
What a pleasure it was to stop by and visit. I'm sure I will be back.
Yvonne @ StoneGable

Andra said...

Oh goodness Bee! That made me cry so hard. I can only hope that one day I will create a life that will make me feel the same way. Beautiful. Love you.

deb said...


you totally made my heart leap when I saw your comment.
I hope you are good busy and your loved ones are healthy and happy.

It's tricky, trying to balance a little reading , writing, and blogging, with the kiddies all home for summer.
And with this silly taking forever hip thingy, well, what is a gal to do.

Have a great week.

love to you.... miss your writing,


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