no. not this summer, i guess?
we've been busy doing summery things and it has been difficult for me to get to a computer and write all my thoughts down. i'm in the thick of growing babies, trying to get stuff done, trying to cherish moments... but often end up rushing my kids through their childhood.
my friend, leigh thune wrote this beautiful post lamenting time stealing her babies away. and it resonated with me. actually, it made me cry.
perhaps it will give perspective to all of us mothers, tired and weary, rushing and frantic, still in the thick of small children and physically exhausting work...that this time is fleeting and we are actually not the keepers of time and growth.
leigh, take it away!
There I stand bracing and willing myself to start the gentle cycle on that beat-up, secondhand washer. The inevitable post-partum thoughts rush in. These I cannot reason with. Paralysis takes over my fingers and water pours instead from my weary eyes. I am convinced that, with one pull of the knob those tiny, soiled onesies will turn into a tee-ball uniform. The years will take over and take my baby with them.
I run up the stairs to report these nonsensical thoughts to my husband. Scooping up my finally-sleeping-baby boy. My arms grip him tight . Jesus was an infant, His Father had full view of what the days would hold. In sacred silence I sob while a prayer of deep gratitude rises to God for being the parent I am not.
Today, I walk into the laundry room. The truth lays strewn on my tile floor. Those onesies and that tee-ball uniform gone! Both replaced by grey, grass-stained baseball pants that fit my baby, an even-tempered, lanky and handsome 14 year old. The beginning of high school has signaled the close of summer baseball league. Childhood summers are over and never to be repeated.
My boy and I relax discussing baseball, good character and love for others. This son, who has bathed his mind in God’s Word, is learning what it is to die. Because dying means there will be failure and pain, a weight sometimes resides on my heart in the night. I think of all the ways God has protected his life, how patient he has been as the first child of young parents who did not anticipate his timing. I love him even more!
Oh, to trade my heart’s weight for the squirms of that colicky infant. Alas, the days crawl by distracting, stealing the years. Who did I think I was? Somehow I thought myself wiser than the oft repeated, grandmotherly quip “Enjoy them now because they grow too fast.” When I retorted, “Oh, I do and I will,” I actually thought this would make me immune to time. My kids would never grow up or leave and somehow I would never grow older.
I pass the park by our old house. The trees tell the story of how many years have passed. They were once staked down and young, like my babies. Now they sway lush, overgrown as they block my view to the park. “It’s probably best,” I think. “I could not handle seeing those swings, that sand.” I don’t need to see them. I see my baby girl swinging for the first time, smiling. Because that’s what she did. No matter what, she smiled. And I loved that moment, so I told myself to never forget it. And, it worked.
How many days we learned to walk and ride bikes and “wait for Mommy.” A stroller was pushed, a tricycle helped along or my pregnant, swelling abdomen slowed our pace as we anticipated the fun we would have. We would swing and sing. We would laugh, run, get thirsty, pull out those sippy-cups. We would get tired and be ready for lunch and a nap. We would bring trucks to play with in that sand. We would go for longer walks and eat wild blackberries as we pretended to be lost in some wood.
God, in His grace, looks on those with me. He saw, He sees, He cherishes, He knows. He also beckons me to more. He calls me release my heart to Him. He says I can laugh at the future! That’s something on which I will have to take His word. My hatred of change, the passing of time means I must let them go. He only asks I wait, I trust in Him, I let Him really be my everything. He gives me the desires of my heart. He already has, but they keep growing up! This life is not my own. This death is one I cannot comprehend. Even my heart is not my own. God, help me to believe this is good news!
Leigh Thune lives in Omaha, Nebraska. She's Bob's wife of 16 years and the mother of 4 wonderful kids ranging in age from 7 to 14. They, by the grace of God, are her favorite people in the whole world.