I’m a sucker for a really good, inspirational quote. I have a bunch of favorites on the walls throughout my house, like “Write your worries in sand; Carve your blessings in stone” and “The best things in life aren’t things,” and “If you believe it, you can achieve it”…amongst a few others.
But I saw a quote on the wall at a friend’s house this summer that really resonated with me for some reason. It was a quote by none other than Dr. Seuss himself. It said, “Don’t cry because it’s over…smile because it happened.” After I read that quote, I felt everything around me just “pause” for a moment as I stopped to think about what that really meant. I can relate to that quote on so many levels, and it is appropriate for so many situations in my life…as I’m sure for the lives of many other people as well.
I thought about how my kids are sad that yet another summer is coming to an end and school is less than 2 weeks away. But then I think about all the fun things we got to do together all summer long…and I smile about that! Boating, skiing, tubing, fishing, park-playing, bike-riding, swimming….it’s over for now. But then I also think about the kids who, for whatever reason, weren’t able to do those things this summer…and the parents who weren’t able to do those things with their kids. And I consider myself very lucky.
Don’t cry because it’s over…smile because it happened.
I also get sad when I think about my two ‘babies’ starting preschool this year. The baby stage is officially over in our house…for good. No more diapers, high-chairs, pacifiers, or bottles. When I tucked my almost 9-year-old daughter into bed last night, I noticed how LONG she looked! She has really grown over the summer. For a split second, I went back in time and pictured her as a sweet little two-year-old in pigtails, dancing and singing to her favorite Barney songs…which are now replaced by Taylor Swift and others on the radio that are accompanied by more ‘hip-hop’ dance moves! She is growing up and like any mother; it makes me want to cry. I wish I could bottle that little girl up forever…the one who says, “I love you, Mommy” in her cute little voice and pigtails. But again, I must smile because it happened. I ache for those parents who didn’t get to see their daughters reach their 9th birthdays. I am blessed.
I also dread the day that my four children will be all grown up and my ‘gig’ as a stay-at-home mother will be over forever. It scares me. What will I do with myself?! Will I cry all day that my little chicks have all left the nest and this old hen is left to do…what?! Again, I’ll have to remind myself when that day comes to smile because it happened. Not many mothers are as fortunate as I am to be home with their children while they are young. I am blessed.
I am not saying that I won’t shed a tear or two (or three or four!) as I go through life…but I’ll have to take Dr. Seuss’s great advice and remember to count my blessings....and SMILE.