When I was little, the "big things" were so innocent:
"I can't wait for that sleepover at my friend's house."
"I can't wait for Beauty & the Beast to come out on video."
"I can't wait for our trip to Disney World."
When I reached adolescence, it was all about wishing my youth away so I could be "older":
"I can't wait to turn 13 so I can be a teenager."
"I can't wait to turn 16 so I can drive."
"I can't wait to turn 18 so I can be an adult'" (HA!)
"I can't wait to turn 21 so I can (legally) drink alcohol."
"I can't wait to start my first 'real' job."
And then into adulthood, it was all about hitting the "adult" milestones
"I can't wait to finish grad school!"
"I can't wait to buy a house!"
"I can't wait until our wedding!"
"I can't wait to have babies!"
And finally, the journey into parenthood:
"I can't wait to be pregnant again."
"I can't wait to hold that baby in my arms."
"I can't wait until she sleeps through the night."
"I can't wait until she walks"
"I can't wait until she talks"
See a theme here? Waiting, waiting, waiting. Lots of waiting. 30 years of waiting in fact.
Some would argue that I'm simply a future-oriented person who gets excited over the little things. This is true. But on a 14-hour drive in the middle of the night on our way back from Charleston, I had a revelation of sorts.
I was lamenting to Jon that our summer vacation was over, the last of 3 trips I've had the privilege to go on this summer, and that meant fall was right around the corner. Fall is an extremely busy time in the life of a college career counselor, so I knew the "lazy" days of summer were coming to an end.
But then I looked in the back seat, at my sleeping babies, and all of a sudden I had this overwhelming urge to freeze time. They both looked so angelic, so peaceful, and I will have that beautiful image in my brain for the rest of my life.
Because I finally realized: "I don't want this time to end."
I've spent 30 years waiting for the next big thing, and now, I realize the biggest and best thing is right here, right now. I've always wanted to speed things up, and now, I am at the place in my life where things are so good, I'd be content to stay in this bubble for the rest of my life.
I'm not saying my life has reached it's peak; far from it. There are goals to achieve, memories to make, and I still want to contribute to the greater good in a way that I have not discovered yet. I'm still going to look forward to events with the same joy I always have.
But after all of the waiting, the wondering, the struggles, and the pain, I don't want to wish away one more second. Every second I have on Earth, and every second I have as a wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend is a second worth cherishing. I get it now.