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I Will Be Right Behind You

Our daughter, Mac, started high school this year. Mac has always been the “quiet one” at our house. When she is around us, she is anything but quiet, but in a larger setting, she is definitely our more reserved child. You always worry a little as your kids transition to something new so I was slightly anxious as we approached freshman year of high school, just wondering how it would go. Let me tell you, I have been amazed at what I have seen from Mac. She didn’t just come out of her shell; she jumped out of it and blew that shell apart as she entered high school. She has joined new clubs, loved every second of being on the volleyball team, is meeting new people, getting excited for her first dance, and everything else that high school brings. It’s been a joy to watch her flourish in her new environment. I am SO proud of her! That being said, the other night she came home with a mountain of homework and a few difficult tests on the horizon that were looming over her. As she sat at the kitchen counter having worked on her homework and studying for over 3 and a half hours, the stress of the week and the day began to leak out of her eyes. Mac is not an overly emotional girl and she rarely cries but that night she couldn’t hold it in, she was defeated and frustrated and just needed a release. My heart hurt for her as she told me she just felt so overwhelmed. In true Mac fashion, she had her meltdown and then she pulled herself together and moved on with a smile on her face. As night fell, I went to tell her goodnight and decided to just hang in her room with her until she fell asleep. She didn’t ask or maybe even need me to, but when my world feels heavy it’s always nice to have someone there. After she fell asleep, I headed to bed with a heavy heart for her but also the comfort of knowing that tomorrow would be a brighter day.

The next morning, we set out about our day like normal. Mac left for school and then Nash and I headed to PT – he in his car and I in mine. Right before leaving the house, I told him I would be right behind him. As I drove down the road staring at his taillights and thinking of the night before, the emotions washed over me. I kept hearing my words over and over in my head, “I will be right behind you”. The transition is here. There was a time when I carried the twins everywhere they needed to go and when they were too big for me to carry, I walked next to them and held their hand and now, it’s time for me to take my place right behind them as they walk into this next phase. I had done it the night before with Mac and I was now doing it with Nash. Supporting them from behind as they journey down their new path. It’s my place, as their mom, to send them out in this big world but hope they know that when the going get’s tough I will always be there, cheering them on from behind and providing a safe place to fall when the world gets too heavy. I pray that they will always know that I will do my best to listen before I react, give praise every chance it’s due, hug when the world hurts, lift them up when the weight of their world pushes them down, reprimand them when our values aren’t aligning and love them when it feels like the odds are stacked against them. I hope in the big and small moments, whether it’s Mac taking to the volleyball court, Nash heading to his first golf tournament or both of them walking into that test that seems impossible, they will know that Nels and I are right behind them loving them through the good and the bad. I want them to know that when they look in the rearview mirror, they will always see us there and know that we have their backs.

Little did I know that as I was watching Mac’s amazing transformation, I was watching my own as well. Life is about transitions…some of them we are ready for and some of them we aren’t, but they are headed our way regardless. As I reassure my kids that I have their back, I am thankful for the tribe that I see in my “rearview mirror” and know that they have mine. Who has your back? Make sure you stop and tell them how much you appreciate them – they sure make the hard days a little easier. Here’s to the next phase in life and supporting one another along the way! I will always be right behind you…

- Karen Lindberg


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