Back to school blessings

Now that the new school year is upon us, my Facebook newsfeed is full of first day of school pictures.  Many of them are with adorable kids holding signs that let us know what grade they are going into or what they want to be when they grow up.  Parents, such as myself also like to post side by side pictures that show how much our children have changed over the course of the past few years.

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As much as I love seeing how enthusiastic parents are when their children are about to embark on a new school year, there is one post that leaves me feeling uneasy every single time.

It’s the hashtag #stopgrowing.

Maybe I’m being overly sensitive, but if there’s one thing that I want my kids to do, it’s to keep growing.  Would I like them to do it a little bit slower?  Of course I do.  But wishing for them to stop growing?  Not at all!

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I can’t help but think about parents who aren’t as fortunate as I am, parents who haven been through the unthinkable and aren’t able to watch their children grow.  What about parents of kids who have special needs?  Would they not give anything just have their children be at the same developmental level as other kids their age?  I’ve always been a firm believer in being careful for what you wish for.  Yes, there are times when I look at my girls and wish that I could put certain moments in a bottle.  I often find myself in awe as I watch my 12 year old daughter become a woman right in front of my eyes.

I wonder how it’s possible for me to be thinking about high school when it feels like yesterday that I kissed her goodbye and wished her good luck on her first day of Kindergarten.

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As much as I would love to cling to the past, I know that I am so blessed to have two healthy daughters who have reached so many milestones, that too many parents have never been able to witness.  My girls fill me with so much pride as I watch them navigate through their days, making choices to be the very best people they know how to be, yet I know that there is still so much for them to learn.

So, my precious girls, allow me to give you permission to grow.

Take the time you need to discover yourselves and do it at the pace that you feel most comfortable.  Even though I may not be happy with some of your decisions I know that mistakes are also a part of growing up.  You will also go through times when you will want to hit the pause button – and other times, you would rather fast forward.  But one thing is for sure, the memories from your past will always be in your heart, just like you will always be in mine….my heart that will never stop growing.

-Stephanie Rappoport-Galperin

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