Family photo 2013

Family photo 2013

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I'll never forget something a friend shared when her son went away for military training after graduating from high school. Through tear filled eyes, she uttered I wish I would have sat on the floor to build legos with him more. He always wanted me to play with him. I usually felt that I was too busy.
I think of her words often with gratitude for the gift they are to me - a reminder of the rapid pace at which the days, the years, our very lives progress.

The thing they don't warn you about before you become a parent, is that from the moment that tiny baby is placed in your arms, they are slowly, gradually, inevitably working toward making an eventual break. They don't mention that everything you do for them to teach them, to guide them, to care for and instruct them, all of the extraordinary effort you pour forth, is to prepare those little ones for the day when they are no longer little. Maybe it should be obvious. Strangely, I don't think it is. If it were, we might not find ourselves so completely caught off guard by their ever increasing size and independence.

No one will likely tell you how your heart will grow once you become a parent, the exquisite love and pain and joy and sorrow and peace and worry and contentment and concern and happiness it will manage to contain all at once. They probably won't share about the welling up that takes place deep inside you when you look into their faces, when you hear their laughter, as you marvel at their accomplishments, when you listen to their stories, while you witness their growth, watching them break away piece by piece, praying all the while that wherever life takes them, they surpass you.
When they are first born, it seems as if we will be able to hold them forever. Those initial hours that merge into months are immersed in a sea of endless need. Then, one day you realize that child of yours is too long, too heavy, too tall to carry around. They need you just a little bit less. Eventually, you trade in diapers and sippy cups for soccer cleats and math homework, reading chapter books replaces singing the ABCs. While playing outside, you notice they can outrun you. They inch their way up the growth chart until you look up to see into their eyes.

It seems as if my life has taken on a tone of perpetual bitter sweetness, pleasure and gratitude mingled with the sadness of knowing that year by year, my time waxes increasingly limited. This journey - motherhood - has been a source of unparalleled gladness. Still, ever present in the recesses of my mind as we pass through our day by day experiences, I know that although I will always be their mother, we won't always be together.
Today, Jayla pulled out a photo album of when she was a baby and asked me to look through it with her. My eyes suddenly burned hot at the sight of her tiny body, head full of dark hair, wearing the absolute smallest clothing made, being held. I remembered the softness of her skin and her intoxicating baby smell, the way I would nuzzle her neck and breathe in her sweetness. A big girl now, she's hard for me to hold anymore. But as for now, she's still here, with me. Such a tremendous gift.

I hope to savor the merciful goodness of the presence of each of my bountiful blessings.....while time is ours to share.


Courtney said...

thank you for these words!

Kim said...

Beautifully said, my friend.

Mama D.'s Dozen said...


6 of my kids are grown and gone. So glad that we didn't stop at "just 6" ... and that my life is still full with the younger 6.

Every day is a GIFT ... a BLESSING ... straight from the LORD above.

Keep enjoying your children ... through every day and every stage.

mama of a dozen
ages: 9, 10, 11, 13, 15, 18, 21, 22, 22, 24, 26, 27

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