Going off of dates and numbers, I had a beautiful realization with my son the other day. He’s in kindergarten now and he has found himself a best friend. So many of us had to navigate a new way of parenting with COVID—kids couldn’t play with other kids, masks, a new level of cleaning, not seeing family (or only seeing specific family), etc. that life in many ways got delayed. My son was around three when COVID hit so he was just at the age where he would be going to his first year of pre-k and really playing with the neighbor kids but he missed part of that. Now he has an entirely new world open to him and he has transitioned beautifully. Like I said, he now has a best friend. Not to get too sappy, but that is the moment I had been waiting for: Seeing my son become his own person and really spread his wings, stepping into his life.
The numbers come in with the repetition of cycles and time. I’ve been so fortunate to have the same core group of three friends since I was my son’s age. I met my best friend when I was about six when I was playing outside and her mom walked her across the street. I met my two other best friends when I was in kindergarten. My whole life has been impacted by these women and it all started at my son’s age. The cycles of time and the repetition of history can be a beautiful thing. Yes, I’m a typical mother and I struggle with seeing my son grow up. He’s an only child so his firsts and lasts mean something different to me—plus I tend to be overly emotional and read into things. Regardless, I know it’s a good thing that my son reaches these milestones. I’m proud seeing him navigate these stages of his life and his fearlessness to try things in spite of being raised in fear the last three years.
Time moves regardless of what happens and cycles repeat—some of those things are irrespective of time and others are simply because of time. All we can do is go with it. That is the beauty of life: it takes us where IT’S going. Sure, we have some say in the direction but if we aren’t meant to go in that direction, I can guarantee things will move us in a different direction. Things happen that we don’t anticipate, like loss, a pandemic, other illness and that changes how we experience each other and what we have to do. I never thought I’d be raising my then three year old in a mask—none of us did. But there are beautiful things that we don’t anticipate either—like everything turning out fine. It’s exactly as it’s meant to be. Suddenly our children are in kindergarten or graduating just as they would have. Life keeps moving. It’s up to us to make the best of it.