The first time that I saw “Toy Story 3,” I was sitting in the back of my van at the drive-in movie theater next to my three boys. Not knowing how the movie was going to end, I remember sobbing uncontrollably, holding on to my oldest for dear life.
As we drove away, I vowed never to watch that movie again.
On Thursday, I was sitting in my car waiting for my son to finish up with his guitar lessons. Feeling bored, I switched the front screen of my car to video. I had no idea what video they had running, but wouldn’t you know that it was the tail-end of “Toy Story 3.”
The ending didn’t change, and neither did my reaction.
For those of you who have not seen the movie, Andy inevitably heads off to college and he leaves “The Toys” behind. From the second that Andy says goodbye to his mother, until they showcase the toys at the end, the tears just stream.
It’s not something I can explain. As a matter of fact, no one ever told me how hard it is to watch your kids grow up.
Especially now, with my oldest son in high school, I will sometimes go and sit in his room and look around. Every trophy, every picture, every inch of that space tells our story together.
And then I realize, that some day in the not so distant future, it is not going to be our story, but he will be writing the chapters of his own masterpiece.
For years I felt as though I was on a hamster wheel, running in circles going absolutely nowhere. Then in the blink of an eye, everything changed. I don’t know when my children began to grow up, but they did.
As parents, every single one of us is going to experience letting our kids go. It’s just a fact of parenting.
Everything that we do, day-in and day-out, is preparing us for this epic moment, the moment when we are going to say goodbye and send them on their own journey.
For years I have said that as a mom, my job is to give my children their wings to fly. It seems so natural and yet the thought of my children flying — well, here come the tears again.
I am once again reminded of how precious our time is together. I am once again committed to being present in each and every moment.
These moments that we are living right now are part of an exceptional journey that is inevitably going to change. Enjoy every moment of it.