Thursday, May 5, 2016

those were the days

A girlfriend said to me just yesterday, "Do you know how lucky you are to have your kids in town?"

I told her - absolutely! I NEVER take it for granted because they have all lived elsewhere in the short time they've been married. And I missed them everyday!

I don't know why the Lord decided they needed to live close by at this time in our lives, but they do and we see them nearly everyday.

I spent time praying today for all of them and asking the Lord to make it abundantly clear to me - what He intends for me to make of this time? It's a precious time for sure - and I will NEVER take it for granted.

I think it's because they are near, and we get to dream with them and talk to them and touch their children all the time - that I don't feel like the 'good ole days' are only in the past, although those precious childhood days flew by!

But, after talking to my girlfriends I realized how very lonely they were for their children and their children's spouses, so when I came across this article today, I realized it probably describes most mom's.

Here is the article:

We'd spent a few hours at the beach during our Spring break trip to San Diego when the weather turned and we decided to pack it up and head out. I juggled sandy beach toys and wet towels in my arms and attempted to convince my 2-and-a-half-year-old that it was a good idea to leave the endless playground that is the beach while my husband followed behind with the folding chairs and our crying 4-month-old. As we trudged through the sand, I noticed an older man look at us and heard him comment sweetly to his wife: "Those were the days, weren't they?"

I stopped — not physically, because that would have sent plastic toys flying and my toddler running — but inwardly, and when we got back to the car my voice cracked as I told my husband what I'd heard. There weren't actual tears, though that wouldn't have been too surprising for my sentimental self, but I got emotional thinking about it. These are the days. We're in them, living them. Right. Now.
It was a powerful reminder for me as a mom. Especially as a mom who, at the time, was only four months in with two kids and who'd spent the first eight weeks after my second son's birth wondering how on earth anyone has more than one child and their sanity. It had taken me a while to get into a groove and there were more than a few mornings when I had to force myself to get up to tend to a crying child and even more afternoons when I wondered how early was too early to pour a glass of wine.

Juggling 2-year-old tantrums with nap schedules and never-ending bedtime routines makes for some long days, and when you throw in being responsible for actually feeding the entire family and maintaining the relationship that got you there in the first place, it can be overwhelming.

The grocery shopping and the lunch packing and the endless picking up of toys. The busyness of all the little things starts to drown out the beauty of it all as one big thing. It's easy to lose sight of how magical a time it is when you're in the middle of the everyday, but that man's comment reminded me that the days when our children are little are the days that we'll be nostalgic for once they're calling us for money instead of whining for more Cheerios.

In the weeks since, I've made a conscious effort to replay those words and that scene at the beach in my mind. We were sticky with sunscreen, hair tangled from the wind, hands full of stuff, dragging our babies through the sand, and instead of seeing chaos, that man saw us as a beautiful memory of his own young family. We were the highlight reel.
The potty training accidents, the endless snack requests and subsequent spills, the constant fight over the need to actually be buckled into a car seat — these may not be the highlights of each day, but somewhere along with that first baby smile, the hilarious comments only a toddler is capable of making, and the out-of-nowhere hugs that make you want to freeze time, they all combine to make one amazing lifetime of experiences.

The challenge is remembering that the next time your toddler intentionally throws a plastic fire truck at your infant's head after they both refused to nap all day and you just realized there's no food in the house for dinner. Man, these are the days.

I pray this Mother's Day will feel full of love even for you mom's away from children. And that all the ladies in our lives that care for us, and pray for us that may not have children of their own, realize how much God uses them in our lives. They ARE moms! Happy Mother's Day!

No comments: