Yesterday, I attended the Oberlin Choristers concert at the Breen Center in Cleveland. My daughter has been a part of the organization for three years, two in the Touring Choir. Last year, she got to go with them on tour to Ireland. This summer we will go to Chicago, and there are great plans already in place for next summer (not sure I’m supposed to tell!). I sit on the Board for this great group, and I volunteer as much of my time as I can — chaperoning, playing, consulting, etc. The concert yesterday including Touring Choir, the most advanced treble choir, and Youth Chorale — the 4 part choir of high school students.
I got to see the kids fill different roles on stage. My daughter played violin on one of the pieces. One young lady played recorder on another piece, while two other kids played percussion on the combined choir piece. Each choir has a small ensemble of its members that performed yesterday as well. Every child on that stage did a beautiful job and brought many in the audience, including myself, to tears.
At one point in the concert, the director of Youth Chorale honored his seniors in the group. This was their final concert as members of Choristers. It was a bittersweet moment for him and for them. One of the young ladies honored had been with Choristers for 12 years! I watched as my friend Shelly, the Executive Director of Choristers and mom of three Choristers singers, cheered on her eldest child who is one of the seniors. I could feel her pride and the small pang of sadness that comes from realizing one of your babies is leaving home.
I don’t have much time. My girl begins high school in the fall. I remember her first day in preschool at age two. She walked in the door confidently, turned to me and said, “Bye, Mama. I can do it by myself.” I was a wreck! Yes, she could do it by herself and that’s what scared the shit out of me. She didn’t need me like she had as a baby. Everyday since, she has needed me less and less — although even my girl needs some intensive mama-time occasionally. Pretty soon, my baby girl will learn to drive, graduate high school, go to college… The list goes on and on. It all happens in the blink of an eye.
Whenever I see a new mom with a baby, I make sure to give only one piece of unsolicited advice — take pictures of everything, all the time! I have an entire album of my girl sleeping as a baby. I don’t regret a single shot. I always have to get my hubby to take pics of the kids at every event, every milestone. I don’t want to miss a thing because I know how precious and fleeting this time is.
I love the band The Cars, and I was happy that they released a new album last year. On it there is a song called “Soon”. It has a lot of very appropriate lyrics that apply so directly to my life, but one pops into my head right now: “Soon, the time will run away from us like time it will do.” Yes. The time runs away from us. My 8 lb. 6 oz. baby girl is now 5 foot 8 — a good four inches taller than me! She is smart, beautiful, and talented, and the sky is the limit for her. I don’t have much time to enjoy her, or her little brother. I hope I don’t waste a second of it.
Today, on my Boo Boo’s birthday, and just a few weeks away from my birthday and our 20th wedding anniversary, I want to take just a moment to say thank you to John for this beautiful life and these beautiful children. Baby, we don’t have much time. Let’s enjoy it together, with them and with each other. I couldn’t have done any of this without you.
Hug your kids today, my friends. I wish I could hug my brother Grant, but he’s been gone eleven years. You never know what tomorrow brings. Do it now. Love them now. Be here, right here — right now. As hard as it is, that’s what I intend to do today.