What seems like a million years ago at a home school conference in Indiana, we heard that number.
We would have 936 Saturdays with our child before she would leave for college. 936 Saturdays to fit it all in. Trips to the park. Laying on the beach. Exploring museums in new cities. Eating every single type of food. Lazy days watching movies and measuring the snow on the deck.
The years, months, weeks and days seemed like forever and it was a number I filed in my brain along with the latest penmanship book and history curriculum that I just knew we needed to buy at that conference. She still loved Barney and her silk blankie. That number would be slow getting here.
But as I was brushing my teeth this morning and thinking through what I wanted to accomplish today, it hit me. Today was the last Saturday. Today the number is 1.
I stood looking in the mirror trying to judge how I felt about this. I took a mental test to see if I was sad, relieved, humored, dismayed. But honestly….I was none of these. I was proud.
She’s ready. I can honestly look back at those 936 Saturdays and say without a doubt that we wasted very few. I have shown her the world, taught her life skills, moved her across the country and she’s done every single one of these with a finesse that only a girl who has been invested in and loved can do successfully.
We have watched this girl grow from an outgoing home schooled elementary student, to an awkward middle schooler, to a confident high schooler….and now we happily send her off to the college that she chose because she knew it was perfect for her. It’s her first adult choice…and we got the privilege to stand back and watch her deliberate the pros and cons. And we are ready to cheer her on as we drop her off next Saturday at college.
So on our last Saturday, we may not do anything special or life changing to mark the end of this chapter. But we will acknowledge, that part of our parenting journey with our daughter, is coming to an end. We won’t be around for the day-to-day stuff, but we are a text away and watching in the wings ready to cheer her on.
I couldn’t be more proud of her and I’m chalking this child up as a parenting win.
And next Saturday, as we say goodbye at the curb of her dorm, we will do so with pride and joy.