“.. and it is finished!”
20 years after I started.. I put the last photo in a frame and closed every painful prong..
Flipping it over, I let the memories flood over me as I studied each picture in my daughter’s collage..
It wasn’t really finished. I opened up those painful prongs one more time and straightened a couple pictures .. and… changed places of two..
.. but then it was finished..
When we started this project 20 years ago.. the plan was simple!
Choose 1 picture to represent every year of her life..
Add in her newborn picture and her graduation photo..
Waa Laa… Easy peasy plan… and Go!
At the time I made that plan? I’d only been a parent for a year.. with my second on the way.
I had no idea what life had in store for me… how big my adventures with my kids would be.. NO idea how big my kids’ personalities would be..
I had NO idea how many pictures we would take each year..
After 5 years? … after only 5 years, the task of only picking 1 picture was too daunting.. and I did not chose that year.
The rule of no one else in the photos was quickly set aside.. and the rule against school photos.. gone..
The plan was to display this collage at my daughter’s graduation.. but it wasn’t finished ..
So the new plan was to finish it before the open house. I pulled 200 pictures to fill 20 slots..
So.. the new plan was to fill board after board with pictures that represented my daughter’s life… for the open house… then I’d finish the collage later…
..That was 2 years ago…
This morning I was supposed to be cleaning.. because we have a houseful of guests coming to celebrate the New Year with us!
..so naturally ..
I pulled that collage down and started pulling pictures to put in each year’s slot.
I started pulling one picture for each missing year.. but they didn’t fit the sized pictures I needed… they weren’t following the rules.. and it still wasn’t working the way I planned..
The more I sorted?
.. the more I realized…
Life doesn’t follow rules.. and it doesn’t take plans into consideration…
So instead.. ?
I started pulling the pictures that showed the light in her eyes .. the ones that emphasized her beautiful soul… and sense of humor..
.. and before I knew it… ?
It was finished..
Parenting is like that…
Parenting doesn’t follow rules.. and it doesn’t take plans into consideration…
We started out with ideas.. a road map.. an “easy peasy” plan for success..
.. and then we went off-roading.. so far off road that our parenting job could not be more different from what we thought..
But .. you know what??
I think it’s better than what we planned..
This life? …it is so beautiful…
I have a collage full of pictures to prove it..