I hope the days come easy and the moments pass slow
And each road leads you where you want to go
And if you’re faced with the choice and you have to choose
I hope you choose the one that means the most to you
After totally emptying the contents of her backpack on the kitchen counter: folded papers, notebooks, drawings, lip gloss, pencils and erasers, folders, candy, and candy wrappers, she unearthed the disc and enthusiastically and impatiently begged to watch it immediately on my computer. Fighting the urge to be highly annoyed by the instant mess that had spontaneously erupted before my very eyes, I consented.
And if one door opens to another door closed
I hope you keep on walkin’ til you find the window
If it’s cold outside, show the world the warmth of your smile
But more than anything, more than anything
My wish for you
Is that this life becomes all that you want it to
Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small
You never need to carry more than you can hold
The class movie began, and I felt my breathing quicken. My eyes felt hot and full, then brimming over. I stood transfixed, watching Nicholas reading a book, Savannah on the computer, Brad pledging to the flag, and Olivia doing the limbo at the class luau. And my Carson. Living her life. Doing her thing. Apart from me.
And while you’re out there gettin’ where you’re gettin’ to
I hope you know somebody loves you
And wants the same things too
Yeah, this is my wish
Both of my girls thought it total mom weirdness that I was standing there with big tears rolling. We just don’t get her at all sometimes, they were thinking. At their request, we watched three times consecutively. I was completely unable to tear myself away. Over the past six months, I wouldn’t dare to guess how many times we’ve broken out the first grade movie, and I cry without fail.
I hope you never look back but you never forget
All the ones who love you and the place you left
I hope you always forgive and you never regret
And you help somebody every chance you get
Of course, I blame some of that on Rascal Flatts and their song, “My Wish.” Heck, you’re probably bawling right now too. Those lyrics are killer. Just like any respectable country tune should, they get to the heart of the matter. Live. Love. Laugh. Remember. Dream. And press on.
From what I hear, first grade quickly becomes fifth, and sixth grade becomes senior year. The truth in that song has the power to penetrate the everyday annoyances, the tedium of caring for school-age children: sweeping up the same Goldfish crumbs, reminding them to hang up their washcloths, mediating the same sibling arguments day in and day out, and transports me to a vulnerable place as a mother. A place where I have a magnified understanding that I don’t get to keep her forever. She is mine but for a short time; they both are. That makes my mothering mistakes feel heavy and solid.
Oh, you’d find God’s grace in every mistake
And always give more than you take
So. That’s my wish for her. And Campbell. And me. That we would live fully – forsaking fear and the mundane to embrace challenge and adventure. That we would love deeply and be loved through and through. That we would often laugh together ‘til we pee our pants, gasp for breath, and clutch our aching tummies.
Father, the task before me is daunting and scary. I am flawed and unworthy to be their mother, so I humbly ask for your help, every day. Your wisdom. Your patience. Your grace and mercy. And theirs.
Sweet Cawthon girls, I love you as big as Texas, and I think you rock like nobody’s business!