As a parent there are times when I feel like I am experiencing a series of losses – a letting go a little at a time. They slowly learn to crawl away, toddle, walk and then run. They ask your opinion less and look to others more. They become less reliant and more independent. But that’s the point right? Well, yes that is the point of parenting – to teach them to get along without you.
Along the way though, there are times when you feel overwhelmed with the task; too much to do & too little time, the whining, the crying, the fighting, the craziness and you think, “I just can’t do this anymore.” You dream of days when they would be past a certain stage and you won’t have to deal anymore. But then you remember they will grow up and move past this stage. And there in lies the tension.
A good friend told me, “Don’t wish the time away, you will miss it someday.” I tried to remember that along the way and tried to savor even the moments I thought I might explode. It has helped me keep focused on those times I wondered why I signed up for all this. Times when the days seem so long.
Yesterday, my 16 year old got her license. As I watched her drive away with the instructor, my heart went with her. Like an old movie reel, I remembered the day she was born. Oh how I felt like my heart was suddenly on the outside and had just been placed in my arms, wrapped in a tiny bundle. Each milestone since then has been a lesson of deep understanding that she is her own person, unique and separate, belonging first to God and then to me. He trusted us with her and has used her to teach us things only a child can teach a parent. These are the times when the years seem so short!
So if you are a parent reading this and having one of ‘those’ days or maybe just floating ‘through’ the everyday, remember don’t wish the time away. Pay attention to it all. God has given you an invaluable gift in your children. He is using you to shape them and them to shape you.
This song made me cry yesterday!