Slow Down & Enjoy the Journey

This morning I waved to my 18 year old daughter as she drove away to start life in another town on her own, without me.  I’m so excited for her but it sure is hard to let them go. My emotions are high today.

the days are long but the years are short

I wrote this on my personal Facebook page just after she left at 5:00 am.

“I remember the day we brought her home from the hospital like it was yesterday. It was a Thursday. She was sleeping and we carefully placed her in her crib and then watched Friends like we normally did every Thursday night. It seemed so surreal to be doing something so routine, so ordinary, yet everything was different. We had a baby to raise and care for, something no book could ever prepare us for. And now today, 18 years later, that baby, our first born, is all grown up and starting life on her own. Without us. I just watched her drive away and my little mama heart is full of emotion as memories of the last 18 years flash in spurts in front of my eyes. The good times, the hard times. They go hand in hand. As I go about my day today, doing ordinary and very routine tasks, I will think about how I never thought this day would come, yet ready or not, here it is. I miss her already.”

If there is ONE thing I could tell you from my experience looking back at the past 18 years it is this:

Don’t be in such a rush.

don't be in a rush

Don’t be in a rush to see them grow up.

Don’t be in a rush to get them to the next stage.

Don’t be in a rush to get things done.

Don’t be in a rush to acquire more and more things.

Don’t be in a rush to make more money.

Don’t be in a rush to get from one activity to another.

Don’t be in rush to clean more things.

Don’t be in a rush to complicate life.

Life goes fast enough on it’s own, there is no need to rush through it.

Slow down.

Take a deep breath and live right where you are in whatever season you are in.

Say no to being busy.

Collect memories, not stuff.

Enjoy the journey. Because in such a short time, your child will be waving at you as they drive away and there you’ll stand with tears streaming down your face wishing you could get back just one more moment of that precious time with them.

Slow down my friends.

And enjoy the ride 🙂


Filed under: My Life


12 Responses to Slow Down & Enjoy the Journey

  1. 1
    Alyssa says

    I love this! Thank you for the reminder to slow down. My kids are 2 and under but I know the time will I’m sure it has for you. I definitely need to be reminded of the more important things in life once in a while. 🙂

  2. 2
    Angela says

    I understand. Completely. My son is 18 and starting college this year. How did the years fly by so quickly? There were some very hard times with medical problems, and some great times. He is an amazing person, and I’m so proud of him!

  3. 3
    Brittany says

    My youngest daughter turns 18 in a few short months, yes, my YOUNGEST daughter, I don’t know how we got to this point…. I swear it was just yesterday my kids were 6, 4, 2 and newborn and I was struggling and wondering when the days would become easier…. well… little did I know that some of the hardest days were still to come, those days in the big scheme of things WERE easy…. I still have 3 boys who are 15, 11 and 5 months, so I’m not completely out of the childhood stage, but my girls, MY GIRLS, I was a mom to girls for 6 years before I had a son… my youngest baby girl is soon 18…. and I just don’t know how we got to this point so soon…. Goodluck to your daughter and from one mom to another, I totally feel ya!

  4. 4
    Marcia Francois says

    I don’t know how you did it! Letting go is so hard, Laura!

    Big hugs to you on this new phase of your parenting journey xxx

  5. 5
    Theresa says

    My oldest is 23, a college graduate, and on his own. His childhood was filled with a divorce, my graduate school, and my remarriage. Many of the memories are time-stamped one of those events. My other son is 7, and I find that I am purposely making his childhood more memorable for BOTH of us. I learned. =D

  6. 6
    Emily @ My Love for Words says

    I’m tearing up. My first born is 6, and I find myself thinking, “How did we get here so fast?” I know she’ll be off on her own faster than I can imagine, which is the goal of all of this, of course, but I still don’t know if I’ll ever actually be ready for it. ((hugs))

    • 6.1
      Katie says

      this is 100% how I feel. My oldest turned 6 last Sunday.

  7. 7
    Bonnie says

    What a beautifully written post. Such wise advise. Thank you.

  8. 8
    Sheila says

    You are so right, Laura! The pride in seeing your kids do what they want and need to do…priceless!

  9. 9
    Judi says

    It isn’t fair that “time flies when you are having fun.” I’m still trying to figure out where the last forty years went. I love your post. We all need to slow down and take the time.

  10. 10
    Cathie says

    Amen! I have 5 grown children and I don’t know how that happened! I was young and did so many things that I now wish I’d done differently. We have a 12 yr old “mid life surprise ” and I am relishing every single second!

  11. 11
    Susanne says

    Beautiful post!


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