Thursday, July 17, 2008

525,600 minutes

I have five hundred twenty-five thousand, six hundred minutes left (approximately) to spend with this girl until she goes away to college.
That's 12 months. 365 days. 4 quarters. 1 year.
I am absolutely in awe as to where the time has gone. Jordan was my wonderful, wonderful surprise when I was 19. I would never call her a "mistake" because she single handedly saved my life and made me what I am today. She has always been clever, witty and incredibly smart.
She is the reason I read "The Difficult Child" 3 times in a row. She is the reason I cried uncontrollably on her first day of preschool. Because I never wanted her to know how I struggled as a single parent, she is the reason I lied about taking the TV to the "repair shop" every couple of months when in actuality it was a pawn shop. She is the reason over and over again that I have laughed until I cried. She is the reason I graduated first in my class from nursing school. She is the reason I finished my bachelor's even when it was difficult. She is the reason I am who I am today.
She is the reason I could pronounce all the names of the dinosaurs in the early 90's. She is the reason I have become somewhat well-read. She is the reason I love orange chicken. She is the reason I can make the sound of a dolphin and recognize the individual sound of every kind of whale. She is the reason I have stepped outside of my comfort zone to prove what type of person I want her to be. She is the reason I pretend to not be scared even when I am. She is the reason I want to be better.... a better parent, a better wife... and overall a better person. She is the reason I recycle. She is the reason the other kids are what they are. She is the reason I can't keep a secret.
525,600 minutes... Those minutes go by so fast. Think about how fast 1 month goes... when you're busy and life is happening... 1 month is here and gone before you know it. And then it's the next month gone. She has already told us that she is going "far" away to college. She was identified as being "profoundly" gifted at the genius level in grade school and went to high school in the fifth grade. She deserves to go away to college. She's earned it. She's looking at California, DC, Chicago, and New York. Can't get much further away than that, can you? Part of me wants to say, "No. You can't go." But I know that I have raised her to not be scared of new things. I have raised her to not be afraid to live out her dreams. To not be afraid to be a stranger in a strange place. And because of that... I only have 525,600 minutes left.


Jenny H said...

Thanks to Jordan I now truly appricate the sounds of dolphins, the fuzzy toilet set covers and poke'mon.GO JORDAN !!! You have shown her how to make lemonade out of lemons and and love it. Guess it is time to put on the "Big Girl Panties" and let her spread her wings. This day will come for Molly soon enough. Love you both.

Linda said...

You made me cry. Tears of joy and approval of all you have taught her. Oh to be young again and have it all ahead of me. Love you, Linda

SisterMom said...

Holy cow, Gina! You made me cry like a baby. I was blessed with my Miranda when I was 17, and raised her as a single mom also. We are unbelievably close and I seriously couldn't imagine doing anything without her.

Enjoy every one of those 525,600 minutes.

Laurel said...

Oh the joy of letting our young adults run with the wind, and follow God's dreams for their lives.

As the mom of 6 young adults (and 7 still homeschooling at home) ... I can tell you ... don't hold on ... let her run ... let her know that you are fully supporting her as she follows her dreams ... let her know that you will be praying for her each step of the way.

Gregg (24) ... just returned after a 4 1/2 year stint in the army (including 2 1/2 years in Iraq). Certainly not my dream for him ... but we fully supported him in his dream.

Cassie (22) ... has travelled to Haiti, Africa, India ... has worked 2 years in full time children's ministry ... currently lives 9 hours away and is working as at a restaurant. Wish she were closer, but she is following her dream.

Jeremiah (21) ... Went to college in Virginia (we live in Wa. state) ... has been home a year ... is now leaving for 2 years in Amman Jordan, to attend an Arabic Lang. School. Again, not our dream, but his.

Carissa (19) ... Has travelled to Costa Rica and Mexico on mission trips. Currently spending 6 months in Argentina.

Lindsey (19) ... Has travelled to Costa Rica, Germany, and Mexico on mission trips. Leaving in Sept. for 6 months in Germany.

As a "low income", large homeschooling family ... no one would have ever guessed that our children would be ministering all over the world. God's dreams are so much bigger than our own ...

I'm excited for you, as you release and allow Jordan to follow God's leading.



Rebecca said...

Makes me want to go in and wake Ava up right now...well, not's 5:30 a.m here. But still...I don't want to miss a does go way too fast! Thanks for the reminder...time is precious.

Kitchenchick said...

I am so crying right now! What a beautiful young woman you have.
BTW- love the headband in the hospital pic! ;-)


Larsons said...

Yea !!! It is wonderful to know and see Two best Friends.
Cheerleader for each other.
The day Jordan was born your Dad and I danced and said God is good!

Amy said...

Ok, now I need a kleenex. You are so right about what a powerful impact our children have on our lives. It always good to be reminded to cherish every minute!!!

Wilson's said...

Great, I just got ready to go out and now I am bawling like a baby and have mascara all over my face. What a sweet post.

The Wilkinson's said...

Ginaaaaaaaaaaaa! Oh my gosh!!! So sweet. Of course I am crying.

Peculiar Smith Family said...


I, like others, am sitting here crying after reading your post! My son, who was born when I was 21, is getting married next month. I know I'll be watching him and wondering where all those years went too! And because of him, I'm a better mom and a better person now.

Rebecca S.

Peculiar Smith Family said...

I'm crying too! What a beautiful message! Rebecca S.

Nikko and Matt said...

oh, jesus, I'm in tears. My mom had me at 19 and we were poor as dirt. We talk almost every day and it is because of her that I am who I am so I'm sure she feels the same as you. In terms of schools, I vote California!