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My last two babies are not only teenagers now, but licensed drivers. The eldest of my four children is set to marry in June and my college-age son is batting around career ideas. I’m trying to figure out what happened to all those little kids who used to run around and drive me crazy.
Whatever happened to the simple questions like, “Mom, can we have a piece of candy?” or “Which story are we going to read at bedtime tonight?” Now it’s, “How much of a homeowner’s loan do you think we can get with our credit?” or “What kind of science questions are on the ACT test?”
My brain hurts. It’s swelling, even.
I’m consumed with high school transcripts, college applications, and finishing out our home school year. We’re in the midst of adding an apartment onto our house for my aging parents.
Don’t get me wrong, I well recall the days of toddlerhood — the toys strung from here to kingdom come, long, sleepless nights, kids who wouldn’t eat anything. Those days, emblazoned in my memory, will never fade.
Yet sweet, sweet memories, little things they said, still come to mind. I’ll never forget rocking my son early each morning while he watched Barney. Or how my daughter belted out “A Whole New World” from Disney’s Aladdin movie: “INCORAUGIBLE FEEEEEEDWEEEEEED!!!” (“indescribable feeling”). And I’ll never forget how my youngest signed-off at the end of every drawing: “I like you and I love you.”
Along with the treasured memories, I also remember how I used to get carried away with the house cleaning. We’re talking toothbrushes to wash the floors and dusting every-other day. My standards drastically lowered as time and years pressed in from all sides.
Now our priorities are more about grades and grandparents’ health and less about dust and grime. Ah, the phases of life and the perspective we gain. But this, too, is a phase of life. It seems to be fleeing all too quickly. If I focus on the big stuff, I lose joy in the small stuff—this feeling of my kids all around me, the interaction, the funny moments, the joy, the laughter, the fact that they still love me even though I’ve messed up a hundred billion times over.
I’m learning you never actually get to the point where you know what you’re doing. Once you arrive at that point, your children have progressed to the next stage.
I may not know what I’m doing, but God knows what He’s doing, and that’s enough for me. He has blessed, and He will enable. I just have to come to Him, kneel before Him, and draw strength from Him daily. He is the One who ordained it. He will bring it to pass. After all, He knows the plans He has for us (Jeremiah 29:11). Who am I to think it is all “my plan” anyway?
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. One morsel, even. Not in months, weeks, or even days. In minutes, seconds, and little accomplishments.
Thank-you, God, for my VERY full life!!!
QUESTION: How has God given you strength through different stages of parenting your child?
CHALLENGE: Identify the little accomplishments you’ve made with your child this month and celebrate them together.