Thursday, February 13, 2014

This Other Thing I Didn't Know About Motherhood

There's something I didn't know about motherhood.

(Well, there were and are a million things.)

But, this one is everyday now. It's this always present, always pang, always tug and grip on my heart.

It goes like this:

I want my kids to grow up. But, only a little.

I want my kids to grow up. I do. I love watching them change from squeaky newborn to cooing infant to house-wrecker toddler to "I do it" preschooler to "look back at you and wave goodbye" Kindergartner to OMG - I have a tween who ONLY wants skinny jeans and boxer shorts, people.

But, man, I don't want to let them go. Mayor of Denial City over here. I see them changing. And, I just wanna crawl in the corner and weep over how babies become bigs and bigs used to be babies and my older friends tell me that NINE is so little and I'll look back on them at this age and realize they WERE just babies and I had it all wrong thinking they were anything but.

Today, I saw my nine year-old carrying my one year-old baby, and he asked me:

"Mom, can I take her up for her nap this time?"

And, there before me was this other thing I didn't know about motherhood:

When they grow up, they want to help you.

Like really help you. In this amazing and proud and moving way. Maybe it should've been obvious. Maybe it's because my first four children are boys and I'd heard that when girls are oldest, they are born to mother and they'll help you and care for the littles and I just never saw my boys as my helpers. Maybe it's because I get in this "It's all on me" mode and the process of them "helping" is harder than just getting it done.

But, whatever the reasons, as I watched my first son - my blue-eyed, skinny-jeans, boxer shorts, "I'm growing my hair out cause I like the way it swooshes" - carrying his baby sister over to me, I almost jumped up to grab her: "Wait, no. I'll do it."

But, instead - I stopped. I'm not even sure why:

"Yes. I would sure love that, bud."

And, he smiled so big, arms full of sleepy baby girl, and headed for the steps.

So proud.
So willing.
So grown up.

As I listened to him, mimicking me from inside her room: "Here's your blanket, girl. Here's your tiny baby. No, no - don't cry because I'm coming back when you wake up..."

This growing up thing didn't sting as much.

I have a helper.

Who is watching me, and wanting to be big, and begging me to let him. Who is learning to serve and love his family in little and big ways with a willing heart.

If this is growing up, I think I'm ready to let go a little.

 photo jackholly-2.jpg


  1. I choked up when I saw this on instagram......and then this. Sarah. Thank you so much for writing. For stopping whatever you're doing to throw your heart out there. Because in doing bless me EVERY TIME. It's like I'm thinking something....trying to process it....can't figure out what the problem is with my heart.... or that there is something wrong with me for feeling the ache when I look at my boy with my girl, and then you sit down and put it all into words. Like a balm for my ache today. You bless so many. THANK YOU for writing!!!!!

    1. My friend - you are always blessing ME with your encouragement. Thankful for you.

  2. Oooh two blog posts in two days - I could settle for that

  3. Oooh two blog posts in two days - I could settle for that

    1. HAHA, Sylvia. I can hardly believe it myself. :)

  4. :) Wonderful story! Ahh, I love it!!

  5. Yes yes yes to everything Melissa said! You have such a way with words that captures what's going on in my heart! :) And what a super sweet pic :)

  6. Love this. Just love it. L is already a helper in more ways than I ever expected from a toddler - she wants to unload the dishwasher and hand me all the dishes to put away (takes twice as long since the silverware caddy gets emptied one piece at a time), and put her own dirty clothes in the washer and pour in the soap, put all the pillows on the beds when I make them, and sit on the counter to "help" make dinner every night. It just kills me. I had no idea it would feel like this.

  7. What a sweet boy!! I hope my son grows up to be a helper in all ways of life :)

  8. THAT makes me a little teary because I have an 8yo (growing out his hair-- no skinny jeans though cause he weights 8- pounds!) and he's an ONLY and would give anything to have a little. I take him to neighbors with little kids and he is in heaven. He likes being the big kid and in so many ways I wish he had a little at home to help. I can tell how proud he is of her!