But I did know their value.
I’ve always sensed it — even on the hardest days and in my most impatient moments. I’ve treasured the little hand slipped into mine, a grocery cart full of tow-headed preschoolers, grass worn bare in the backyard from summers of touch football.
There were daily commutes in the car and hard nights up late and endless loads of laundry, but even those were cherished signs of full life with kids in the home.
I tried my best to breathe it in and enjoy it fully, as if that would slow the steady march of days.
In the flurry of graduation activities, I’ve noticed the orange trees in our backyard producing small green oranges where there used to be a profusion of small white blossoms.
Orange blossoms have an undeniable scent. I remember as a child driving through Florida’s rolling hills of orange groves when the orange blossom fragrance was so strong it came right through our car windows.
And yet, as heady as that scent is, no farmer would be content with a grove of orange blossoms.
His labor is meant to produce fruit.
These last 18 years? They have been amazing.
Heady with the sweet fragrance that is childhood.
But these green oranges remind me there is more.
These first 18 years are bud and blossom.
There is yet great fruit.
Though my heart would love to push pause right here, it’s only because I haven’t yet seen the fruit that release will bring.
Dear Mom, you know what no one told you about high school graduation?
That pushing pause here would stop the fruit to come.
All your labor? It was meant to produce great fruit.
If the bud and blossom of childhood has been this breathtaking, I cannot wait to see the fruit.