Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Saw it Coming

A long time ago in a land far, far away (Florida), we had David, born right on his due date after 20 weeks of labor. (Don’t worry: I am nowhere near ready to write about our long and complicated child-bearing history, so that is not the point of this post.) It was the beginning of a baby parade that wound down just over seven years later when Daniel was born here in Minnesota. Now Daniel is seven, and we are fresh out of babies. We’re not even a parade any more. Just like that – seven years pass and things are totally different.

Now don’t get me wrong; I am not pining for the days of sweet babies and toddlers. I enjoyed those days immensely, but I thought I would miss them much more than I actually do. I am thankful that God gave me just as many of those sweet, trying days as He had planned for me. I’ve had just enough days with diapers to change (ten years straight!), just enough days of packing a huge bag before leaving the house. I’ve had just enough days of scheduling around naps, just enough days of saying, “Hold on to the cart” while trying to navigate the grocery store parking lot (in the snow). While I am sure I have not answered the “Are they all yours?” question for the last time, people ask that much less often now that the kids look more like a gang of friends than a pack of babies. “Who in her right mind would bring 5 kids under 8 years old to Sam’s Club if they were not all hers??” I wanted to scream more than once. And yes, we are aware of what causes that.

I am enjoying my kids the way they are now. And the way they are now is big, suddenly. Just as they all seemed to be babies at the same time, they are now all turning into teenagers at the same time. Edwin and I had this discussion for the first time shortly after James was born. David was 3, Anna was 19 months, and James was tiny - three babies, for all practical purposes. And we were thinking about the time that they would all suddenly become teenagers, all at the same time. Now I do realize that John, 9, and Daniel, 7, are not teenagers or even preteens yet. And I am glad they are still little and cute (as we like to say in a joking jab towards the older kids). But the current is flowing and there is no stopping it - kind of a snowball effect, an avalanche even.

Now I leave the house with just a little purse, and sometimes without a single child. Or maybe we pile seven bikes on to the car and take a 10-mile bike ride somewhere. I only clip the nails of one child, bathe no one, tie no shoes. Someone loses a tooth daily, or at least weekly. Everyone can read. I am remembering geometry and looking forward to finally teaching my subject of choice, biology, next year. I have an army of helpers, and I always have someone to play with.

I am trying to savor it, yet it is moving so quickly. They are speeding towards adulthood, and within the next ten years they will start to move out, get married, and have children of their own, Lord-willing. And all at the same time, practically. This is the whirlwind of parenting we have been given, and for this I am very grateful.

Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. (Psalm 127:3)



Tracey said...

Yes, that is unscrubbed wallpaper paste in the photo. My laundry room is in a state of suspended improvement. More on home improvement in another post...

Anonymous said...


Maria Matthys said...

I am entering this phase myself - the nostalgic part is the "speeding toward adulthood" - looking for ways to make it all slow down a bit!

Wendy Royston said...

Food for thought:

Can a parent chose which child(ren) that you want to "speed toward adulthood" and which ones that you don't?

Just asking................. hypothetically of course!

Gail said...

That's a beautiful sentiment and it makes me cry. Time passes so quickly.