Time is a fickle creature and sometimes I don’t like her one…little…bit.
She toys and she taunts at her leisure and her pace is hardly fair–she creeps along at a slug’s pace when A Big Day approaches, but in the lives of my children she accelerates into the speed of blur.
Once, when I turned my back, my daughter went from losing her first tooth to having her braces removed. Another time, I blinked and my son wasn’t pushing a Little Tykes lawnmower trailing his daddy, he was mowing two acres by himself.
No longer do I have to wipe noses or behinds, brush hair or brush teeth, dress or undress them…and I can’t remember the last time someone asked me to kiss a boo-boo.
I think I miss boo-boo kisses the most.
My oldest was at camp last week and it hit me she’s a high school sophomore; that means we’ve got her at home just three more years. Though I have no aspirations to be her friend yet–when my children were younger and I did or demanded something of them they didn’t like, they’d try to “threaten” me with “I won’t be your friend”, to which I’d always respond, “I’m not your friend, I’m your M-O-T-H-E-R”–I like her and enjoy her company.
For that, I am thankful.
Saturday night when she got home, we talked two hours straight; the conversation felt…grown up. I sat there and studied her while she spoke. There was something different about her. Assurance? Confidence? Maturity? Or is it ME?
Am I the one who’s different?
I’m never prepared when I see my children in new light.
Don’t be mistaken–it’s not always like this. There are times I’m ready for them to be up and out. Sometimes I think their goal is to fray every last nerve in my 40-something body! Thankfully, those moments are fleeting.
Mostly, these moments of introspection remind me to love my babies fiercely and freely–with open hand, not a tightly clenched fist…to allow them the space to “become” and help guide them in that process…to remember the thought that always pierces my heart: “we’re raising them for someone else, not ourselves”…that their move towards increasing independence is a move in the RIGHT direction.
If we’re doing our jobs well as parents, a move toward greater dependency on the Lord.
When I watch friends with younger children juggling diaper bags, struggling with a demanding life, and wishing away that season, I want to tell them to savor the “here and now.” Soon that season of motherhood will be over, much more quickly than they realize. But they wouldn’t understand, not yet, anyway. It’s not their fault–they can’t.
There are some things you’ve got to live, to experience yourself, to comprehend completely.
Time might not be on my side, but I’m thankful for the reminders to make the most of it.