It's really here. You knew this day was coming. But, an "I told you so" is never any comfort, is it? Especially from someone so much younger who can't possibly understand how you're feeling.
I've been trying to imagine the heaviness in your heart today. Your last baby just moved away from home, and you're wondering where the years went, and how the time could have slipped by so quickly.
I'm writing to you today because even now, many years earlier, I'm thinking of you.
Can I just tell you that I wish I had your wisdom? You've spent many years loving and parenting these precious children, and I'm so new at this. I'm nine years in, but I feel like I'm flailing a lot of the time, not quite sure what the right choices are, and what choices are really worth mind wrestling over.
Do you remember all the little decisions you had to make to get to this day? I just let the boys eat cookies for breakfast because that's what they really wanted. Surely, that wasn't the wisest of choices.
But, do you remember how it made them laugh?
I'm a bit envious of you, you know. You slept in as late as you wanted today, drank a full cup of hot coffee, and ate breakfast while leisurely leafing through your latest stack of catalogs. Do you remember how early they'd wake you each morning and say, "Mama, I'm hungry. Mama, I wanna play?"
"Mama. Mama. Mama."
There's no time for breakfast here most days; unless you consider late morning, microwaved coffee and stale toast as "breakfast". But, I suppose you'd love to spend a morning in my slippers, pouring out bowls of early morning cereal again and watching them, bare-chested and sleepy-eyed, laugh that raisins look like poop, huh?
Let's call a truce and say we're both a bit envious of each other. Deal?
I know you feel as though the years went by too quickly, because that's what everyone tells me mothers feel when their babies are grown.
But I want you to know that I am doing all I can to savor these young Mommy years, loving these babies, kissing and hugging them, and fighting to cherish every day that I'm blessed to mother them.
I am fighting for that. It is a fight. It is.
But, man, the days can feel so long to me, and meeting so many needs leaves me utterly exhausted at the end of the day. I want to run like the wind and break out of here some days because this is HARD stuff - this motherhood thing. Just giving of myself when I want to give to me.
But, I know, even now, that while the days seem long, the years are speeding by; so, I'm stopping. Today. And, every single day I've got the fight in me.
I'm closing my eyes and soaking it all in.
And, though I can't slow down time or turn it back for you, know that I am living these years as fully as my tired eyes and body will let me. Really, really living them.
And, I'm looking like a crazed Mama with her phone out and ready for photo ops so that on days like today, you can look back and see that your HARD and tiring mothering years were full of colorful life.
Real life. Tough. Long. Tiring. But, it was AWESOME.
I don't have your wisdom, but I am certain of this:
Just as God's grace is the only thing sustaining me as I make my way through squabbles and dishes and dirty diapers, I know that God will continue to pour His grace out onto you as you move into this next season of life.
Keep clinging to Jesus. He loves the little children running buck nekked and full on-wild around the playroom as I type this letter to you. And, just as sure, He is loving you now as you say goodbye to them as they leave home to proclaim His love to a world that desperately needs it. And, to find their way with your love deeply ingrained on their hearts.
You'll always be their Mama.
And, OH, how they still need you.
The Young Mommy You
Thursday, October 17, 2013