This week I listened to my son, about to turn 13, call his grandma on the phone. He talked about his day, his sports and his academic success with pride in his voice and without my prompting. He asked her about her day and seemed to really care. She asked a few times if he was sick or tired because his voice sounded different to her. He said, “No Grandma, I’m just getting older.”
They get older. They really do!
I know it doesn’t seem like they ever will. The toddler and elementary days seem to be never ending, like the movie Groundhog Day, where the same day is lived over and over again. The morning clashes, the lunch time tantrums, nap time and bed time struggles, there seems to be something to battle every hour on the hour when they are little. Some days I forget how hard that was even though it wasn’t that long ago. I think God helps us forget, like the way we forget the pain of child birth probably, so we can continue to love them through it all. I do remember crying a lot though, wondering what I did to deserve such round the clock torture. I would collapse crying into the arm chair in my room before getting 4 hours of sleep, only to get up and do it again and again and again.
Until one day it changes. I promise it gets better! O.K. maybe different… but also better!
I never really though it would but it does. My husband and I actually high-fived each other about it the other night, secretly, under the covers, so as not to jinx it! My son used to be so hard to grab, so hard to catch, so uninterested in connecting with me. He was so hard to slow down and you could forget ever trying to hug him. These days he moves slower, asks my advice, and speaks freely about what’s on his mind and his heart. He offers hugs often and he gets his feelings hurt if I watch “our favorite shows” without him. Dare I say we are friends? Don’t get me wrong, he is still a teen! He grunts and groans and his moods swing and his feet stink to high heaven. But what used to be just glimpses into the future are becoming long stretches of reality that will hopefully turn into the new norm.
It’s like a long romantic date with your hubby, in the sense that you know you can’t live in that moment, but you savor it and are reminded why you love him. It’s like looking at a sleeping toddler at the end of a very long day praying and sensing all the potential. I am savoring the moments and sensing the potential. I prayed and cried, morning and night that God would calm the storm inside this strong willed boy and give me the strength to face another day.
My God is faithful. Your God is faithful, mamas!
My house has been a training ground for so very long and still is, in a sense, my youngest son is still pretty young and I am still in the thick of training young men, but I sense a shift has been taking place, and these days it feels more like a launching pad. The years of tears and bone tired nights are gone and there in laughter and lingering in my kitchen (my absolute favorite thing in life). I have room to breathe.
I white knuckled life for many years. I am loosening my grip these days.
Do you feel this way? Do you pray and cry and forget to breathe? Are you holding on for dear life? I see you and I understand. They do grow up! It does get better! Things begin to shift and change and your prayers and tears are not in vain. Every ounce of energy and love you pour out for these little ones makes a difference. It adds up and is tucked away somewhere in there and you will have a return on your investment if you invest wisely into your little bundle of miraculous frustration.
There is something to be celebrated when they crawl or walk; when they can tie their shoes, buckle their seatbelt and even make their own food. All of that, yes! But when you see them grow spiritually or emotionally, in those areas you prayed for and wondered, “Do they just grow out of it? Please say they just grow out of it.”, you will rejoice down deep in your own soul, because you have done well shaping them and molding them to the glory of God.
By now you know that my children are far from perfect, there are still strong wills on the prowl, and calls from the school, heck just this morning my boys threw a pile of mismatched socks at each other before running out the door. I found them strewn about by the toaster and coffee pot! There is work to be done here in my launching pad but I am choosing to celebrate the fact that it was easier to clean up socks than baby food and Legos! I am rejoicing in the evolution of the soul if you will. The fruit of growing pains. The blossoming of that which I planted long ago wondering if it was perhaps sown in vain.
You are not sowing in vain!
That stinky ornery little toddlers who screams “No!” and throws poop, will turn out to be a kind hearted human being with a good conscious, who you actually like to be with! Don’t be surprised if they like to be with you too! That’s the best part!
Stay in the ring mamas…. stay IN! THE! RING! It pays off! I promise.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Other Related Blogs: