The Most Worn-out Parenting Cliche’
This summer is a season of milestones for our family. Randi turned 18 and graduated from high school. Our family vacation was minus one because Kelli had a fabulous internship in St. Louis. But she got a vacation–5,200 miles away on her first overseas mission trip. We celebrated her 21st birthday last week, and next week Randi will be an official college freshman.
How did we get here?
Just yesterday I was zipping up squeaky clean little bodies in footie pajamas, reading bedtime stories, and giving butterfly-puppy dog-Eskimo kisses. Now I go to bed wondering if Kelli is secure in her city house and why I didn’t tell Randi to be home earlier so her dad could go to sleep.
“It goes so fast.”
By the time my girls were toddlers, I’d heard that worn-out cliche’ so many times I promised I would never repeat it to parents with little ones. Because when your mode of operation is exhaustion, and when you’re juggling 27 things at once and someone asks you to juggle 28, and when you’re meeting everyone else’s needs–or failing to in some cases–you feel like it will never end.
Then it does.
And it’s sad.
Because this is the job. To raise little people into big people who can go into the world and fulfill the purpose they were created for. I feel like God has given us our children on loan, to raise them for Him, and to return them to Him…because He told us He has plans for them and hope and a future. Right now it feels like we’ve reached the end of a path, and it’s time for me to let go of my girls’ hands and nudge them forward. I imagine God placing a finger on the ground and tracing the rest of the journey for them to follow. That makes it easier for me to say, “Here you go, God. You got this.” And I pray my daughters will have obedient hearts.
But I’ll never forget how freshly shampooed hair smelled while I combed out the tangles, or the warmth of a kid sleeping between us because she had a nightmare.
And now when I scroll through Facebook and see all the pictures of adorable babies and funny toddlers and first days of school that my younger mom friends post, you know what I’ll be thinking…
“It goes so fast.”
If you’re a mom still in the midst of juggling, what is one thing you will miss about this phase of momhood? If you’re a mom whose babies are grown, what is something you wish you would have appreciated more when they were little?