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Just Sayin’

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I caught a glimpse of what my life will be like in about six years.

My daughter and her middle school classmates took a bus trip to a ranch in Arkansas a few weeks ago. We had so much fun preparing for it as we made a Target run getting her all set up with travel-sized shampoo and toothpaste. I remember the anticipation of my sixth-grade trip to a wilderness camp. I was sure she had butterflies in her stomach the way I did, even though she said she didn’t! No matter. I had plenty of them for both of us. This wouldn’t be the first time we’d be away from each other. But the idea of my putting her on a bus for a five-hour drive to the middle of nowhere where I would have limited contact with her for a few days? That definitely made me feel a certain kind of way!

I love that my daughter still likes to hang out with me. When her friends are over, we all usually hit up Starbucks and they tell me all the latest sixth-grade crushes. Who knows if this best friendship will last on her end, but for now I’m cherishing every minute of it. So, when trip day arrived and I waved goodbye as the bus pulled out of the lot, my eyes filled up with tears, I had an immediate lump in my throat and those butterflies started swirling around in my tummy. I decided to go to lunch to take my mind off things. I stood in line at Panera and looked over at the bakery items, tears filled my eyes again as I looked at the brownie (her favorite) and thought about all the lunches we’ve had there. I saw a mom with her toddler-aged daughter at a table nearby and all I could think to myself was how truly FAST it’s all going.

A few days later, I stood in the school parking lot and watched that big bus roll in. This time, I was filled with happiness and gratitude that my girl had a fantastic, safe trip and was back home. All was right with the world once again! She talked my ear off for the next several hours telling me all the things she experienced at the ranch and how much fun she had. It made me so happy. But I did flash forward in my mind to the day that’ll be here before I know it, the day she heads off to college. I can just imagine her coming home on breaks and telling me all about it. It was a reminder that I’m raising her to be independent. She will have her own life to live just as I’ve lived mine. But it is just so hard letting go.

For now, I’m going to treasure these days of pre-teen attitude and chaos. What do they say? The days are long but the years are short. It’s so true and I see it now. Don’t blink.


Jenny Matthews co-hosts The Morning Drive with Mike Kellar + Jenny Matthews on Q104 New Hit Country, weekday mornings from 6 – 10am.
Connect at and check out The Morning After with Mike Kellar + Jenny Matthews podcast!