Today I looked in the rear view mirror and caught a glimpse of you, staring out the window, your eyes taking in the sunshine and the scenery rushing by. In that moment, you no longer looked like my baby, but rather a little boy. How many times have I glanced back at you in the last two years and wished you would stay little forever…too many to count.
In the days and months ahead, I will look in that same rear view mirror and I imagine I will see a little boy ready for his first soccer practice, or with his t-ball cap perched on top of his head…and not too long after that a Kindergartner, all dressed up for his first day of school, a mixture of excitement and nervousness on his face. Perhaps he will look up and smile at me, and my breath will catch in my throat as I get swallowed up by that toothy grin and wonder how all the days at home with him have slipped by so fast.
In no time at all, I will look in that rear view mirror and see a teenager. Maybe that teen will be lost in thought, and my heart will ache for the days when there was non-stop chatter coming from the back seat, or the sweet sounds of off-key singing. If I am lucky, I will catch that teenager’s eye, and I will smile at him and he will smile back at me—a simple reassurance that despite the quiet car ride, everything is o.k. in his world.
Eventually, I will look in the rear view mirror and see a boy that has turned into a man, with a graduation cap positioned where his little league cap used to sit. This time, I hope there will be excitement about the future written all over his face. And if he looks closely at my reflection, he will see the tears forming in his mother’s eyes, as I process my own feelings of pride mixed with sadness that this stage of life is over. For in my mind, it was just yesterday that I was looking back at a Kindergartner on his first day of school.
And not too long after that, it will be his eyes gazing in the rear view mirror as he drives away to begin his next grand adventure. And I will wave goodbye and pray that he knows with EVERY ounce of his being what a blessing it has been to see his precious face reflected in my rear view mirror all of these years…