Photo: Ali Flynn

Last night, as I went in to tuck my girl in after a whirlwind of a day—four airports, and four flights in 18 hours.

I was reminded of how precious time really is.

Time…it’s basic and taken for granted and always looming over us.

Time…we know it passes but often doesn’t slow down to relish in the passing.

But time right now my friends is precious.

This trip yesterday was planned so my sweet girl could ease her mind about college decisions.

And when I think about that right there, I wonder how is that possible?

College?

Wasn’t it just the first day of pre-school drop off as she giggled with excitement as a tear also trickled down her cheek?

Time.

It doesn’t slow down for anyone as much as we desperately try to hold on.

It doesn’t stop for the dying.

It doesn’t pause for children growing.

Time is forever moving forward, guiding all of us and reminding us daily to hold on tight but still go along for the ride and not fight it.

But seriously, how was I just holding this sweet girl, right after being born still connected to me, and now she will be living on her own?

How was I just rocking her quietly to sleep singing lullabies and soon she will be tucking herself in each night?

How was I just tying her shoes that repeatedly wouldn’t stay tied and now I’m looking eye to eye at a beautiful woman who now borrows my shoes?

But this girl here, she has some decisions to make.

Tough decisions.

The hardest decision she has been faced with.

And we all know that decisions aren’t easy.

Decisions…sometimes suck the life out of you.

Decisions…open you up to thoughts you didn’t know you had.

Decisions…make you grow.

And this is what I see happening in front of me.

Growth.

My girl is strong-willed and perseverant while maintaining a kind heart.

She knows what she wants, who she wants to draw into her life, and the kind of life she can see herself carry with pride.

But at the same time, she doesn’t know.

Her mind is racing and she is trying to quiet her beating heart down a bit.

The excitement is rushing but she knows it is important to remain calm and not let impulsivity take over.

And I just watch with wonder.

I watch with pride.

So as I gazed at her sleeping soundly on the plane, a deep joy entered my soul.

A peace washed over me.

Time may move on and we will both continue to grow but our hearts will always be intertwined…peace washed over me.

And just as we were connected so long along, a cut of a cord or a new phase of life does not mean a loss of a connection…peace washed over me.

Maybe now, the deeper, richer, and more fulfilling connections begin…peace washed over me.

A new phase about to begin…peace washed over me.

This post originally appeared on Hang in there mama by Ali Flynn.