If we have 17 chapters with our kids until their Book of Childhood is done, I’m at the beginning of the last chapter. Their Childhood. Their Journey. Their Story to tell.
Book One, Chapter 17: The one where it all ties together.
Gasp. Tear. Sob.
It feels like I just started Book One, totally clueless as to how different I would feel by the end. I am not the same person I was 17 chapters ago.
Chapter 1 captured me from the beginning. It was a page turner and I couldn’t put it down. Never have I loved a story so fast. I was consumed, enthralled and in love from the first page. The main character, once clinging to a leg for reassurance and support, now bold, strong and ready to face the world.
Yet, my mind tricks me into still seeing them they way they started: young, soft, innocent and naive. Excited for the little things life had to offer.
And even though I have read each word, each page and each chapter, I can’t help but feel like I missed something. I didn’t skip any pages but it feels like I did. Where did the time go?
I want to put this book down, freeze time, pause long enough to let my feelings catch up because there is a part of me in denial. If I don’t turn the pages, if I stop reading, maybe I can slow down the inevitable.
Nobody wants a beautiful story to end.
Deep down, I’m aware that this is a series, hopefully one with many more books to follow as each season of life unfolds. I’m sure Book Two, Three, Four and Five will be just as amazing… but I also know it will be different.
This beautiful story has stirred up so many emotions and fears. There were times I would have paid big money for someone to flip to the end just to let me know things turned okay. I stressed, worried, lost sleep and prayed.
As with every great story, certain chapters were better than others. Some more a blur- filled with exhaustion while others created memories never to be forgotten. Some exciting and fun, while others so unpredictable and painful.
As each chapter rolled into the next, I watched a transformation, something blossom, something grow.
Someone become who they are supposed to be.
They call it a book hangover. A slangy term for the feeling when a reader finishes a book and they can’t stop thinking about it. The story is over, but the reader misses the characters.
When it ends, you are left wanting more.
A great story changes the way we see the world. It opens our eyes, expands our mind, and makes us think about love and life. A great story makes us smarter and more open, it forces us to reconsider the meaning of life or what really matters. A great story challenges us- makes us think outside of the box, inspires us, and teaches us how to be a better person.
This great story has taken me on the journey of a lifetime, starting from Chapter 1. I am changed, deep within my soul. And for that I’m forever grateful.
So it’s time to put my big-girl pants on and begin Chapter 17. I will settle in and enjoy each page with intention and with patience. I will not rush this story. Who knows- it might be the best chapter yet.
And while I don’t know what will happen or if things will work out the way I hope, I find myself excited to watch it unfold.
At the beginning I thought this was a coming of age story, a wonderful adventure to follow but now I’m realizing it’s actually a true love story. One that I never want to end and one that I’m so blessed to have been a part of.
Book One , Chapter 17. Exhale.
Ready. Set. Go.