I remember my oldest son as a 2-year-old. He could throw some massive tantrums!
This was a brief phase, but seemed to last forever in the moment.
I can still see him on the floor.
Face buried in the carpet.
Flailing his legs around and crying…
Years have passed. Now it’s me who’s kicking and screaming.
I hate change. I hate it with a passion.
I hate that my kids are growing up. It happened too fast.
Way too fast.
I looked forward to their independence…
The day they could get in and out of their car seat by themselves…
Walk fast enough to keep up with me…
Dress themselves and tie their own shoes…
The day we could get rid of all the colorful plastic dishes…
Somehow when I wasn’t looking, those days came and went.
I feel like a two-year-old, kicking and screaming.
“It’s not fair! I want that time back. It’s mine! That time belongs to me!”
No longer do I fall asleep in my child’s bed next to them because they are afraid of the dark.
I no longer have to clean waist-high fingerprints off the patio door, nor does my house reek of the foul odor of a diaper pail.
No more cutting food into bite-sized pieces and dreaming of the day that I get to eat hot meals again.
All of which seemed like a magical, unreachable goal when my kids were toddlers.
It was what I wished for.
Yet somehow I regret all the time wasted.
I put my heart and soul into parenting. There were days when I felt like I was only merely surviving, yet most days I was loving the journey, and giving it my all.
I had my kids very young, and I was determined to be the best at it despite my age, the way I am with everything.
Years of 24/7 parenting.
Every day and every night on call…
I put my life on hold to put everything into my children.
We had to make so many sacrifices to have me stay home with the kids.
It wasn’t easy.
It was HARD!
My husband worked 3 jobs at times. We went years without cable, cell phones, and with only one junky car (the kind you could hear coming two blocks away, and would stall at stop signs).
All so that I could be with my kids.
To see all their firsts.
And to know them better than anyone.
To be with them.
My relationship with my children is changing.
I know they still need me, but it is different.
I hate change.
My view of change is similar to a one-year-old being left in the church nursery for the first time. I cry. I’m scared. Mostly, I fail to look around me to see all the fun I could be having if I wasn’t crying.
It’s foolish, I know.
I distinctly remember the day I dropped my “baby girl” off at school for the first time.
It was hard.
I came home and sat on the couch.
That was even harder.
You see, the house was silent. There was no one calling my name, no laughter coming from upstairs, no sounds of playing or even fighting…
All day I cried.
I dread the silence.
I dread the change.
Last night I was online ordering my oldest son’s high school graduation announcements.
I sense the change that’s coming.
I dread the silence that’s coming.
You have NO IDEA how much I dread the silence that’s coming.
It is time for me to let my children blossom into responsible, caring, Godly young people.
It is time for me to let them fail, and learn to pick themselves up again.
It is time for me to celebrate who they are, and who they are becoming.
It is time for my hands to start easing up on the death-grip I have tried to keep on their lives.
I know it is a gradual process, and for that I am extremely grateful.
God knew this would be hard for me.
So we will take it one step at a time.
Yes, I have long ago traded the smell of the dirty diaper pail for the smell of dirty socks balled up in the corner of the closet.
Instead of cutting food into bite-sized pieces, I spend dinner time listening to my children tell me about their day at school.
Instead of sitting in the rain at little league games, you will now find me at band concerts and GPA awards ceremonies.
And yes, somehow I am that panic-faced mom in the passenger side of the car, clinging to the door handle as my child chauffeurs me around town.
These are the moments I will cherish.
I will hold on to them and live in the moment.
Loving every minute of it.
For these days too will pass quickly.
For those who still are picking up countless dried up peas from the high chair.
Who still have that 2-year-old face down screaming on the ground.
Who are up at 3 a.m. putting soiled sheets in the washing machine after another “accident”
For these days are but a moment.
Enjoy every gross, tiring and thankless part.