There is something really sad happening around here.
So sad, in fact, that some days I find myself nearly in tears about it all.
My little kiddos are growing up.
I know, I KNOW. If they wouldn’t be growing it would be even sadder.
There would be something wrong physically.
I know people who would love to be watching their children grow up.
My sister is one of them, and her arms ache daily to hold her little son.
I suppose then, that my sadness comes not from my kiddos growing up, but from the change that is seeming to come to our little family. The awareness of change comes at different stages, when someone new happens, or when someone stops happening.
When my babies need to be weaned from their pacifier, there is a knowing that this has GOT to happen. But when it does, my baby suddenly feels like a big kid, no longer a baby.
When Zoe started school I felt the same thing.
“Whaaaaat? My baby is starting school?! How did we get here? I’m not ready to be a school mom! I just want my toddlers back!”
And yet it was exciting too, to see her learn, and be so excited about learning.
Zoe at age 7.
And just recently, it’s been another incident.
The First Lost Tooth.
It was several weeks ago when Zoe first touched her tooth and did the exclamatory,
And for a week or two that tooth kept wiggling and moving and getting looser.
(Much to my queasy-stomach’s dismay: any other mothers out there that cannot stand to look at a loose tooth? It seriously makes me feel nauseated. I can still clearly remember my own. Ei yi yi.)
We took a few pictures one Saturday, just informally, not getting dressed fancy or going anywhere to do then, but just one last picture time to document All The Baby Teeth. The tooth was so loose at this point that it looked crooked in pictures and we had to keep readjusting it. :)
And a few days later, out it popped. We now have a little lisping girl, who goes around singing, “All I want for Christh-math isth my two front teeth…”
[we did have a very tardy Tooth Fairy. you'd think with it being her first
day night on the job and all she'd be on time. but no no no, she didn't show up until breakfast the morning after. and then she has to answer to questions such as, "Mom! When DID you end up putting the quarter in my jar?"]
It’s adorable, really. This new smile.
And my mommy heart is feeling just a little torn because that means she’s growing up. And while I don’t want her to stay at home forever, in a cocoon in her own little world, I’m realizing that letting her grow up begins now. That every new stage is precious and beautiful, and is not necessarily better or worse: just different.
So today, even though I feel like a sentimental softy mama, I want to embrace this stage with my oldest. Growing up means becoming even better friends. It means she can understand more things, and our conversations can be deeper. It means we can laugh together even more, as we can look at each other and burst out laughing at the same unspoken thing. It means she has the precious opportunity to be at a place to read the Word of God, to spend time with Him, to develop her own relationship with Jesus. These are all such precious things, and part of the richness of growing up. It doesn’t mean it will all be easy: but it means there is incredible potential for spiritual growth, for soul growth, for mental growth, when there is physical growth and change happening.
D.L. Moody once said, “If I could relive my life, I would devote my entire ministry to reaching children for God!”
And that’s where I am on a practical level, daily: devoting my life for my children. But I want it to be so more than that, because if devoting a life to children is the end result, that is far too small. I, and so many other women, are devoting our lives to children (whether our own or someone else’s) because we want to reach them for GOD, as D. L. Moody said. Not to raise children for themselves, who think the world revolves around them because their parents or caregivers focused only on the children, but to raise children with an awareness of Someone so much bigger than themselves. And to cultivate that awareness into a passion for that Person, Jesus Christ. I am just called to cultivate the soul of their little souls, to plant the seeds of the Gospel, of relationship, and then the Lord brings the sun, the rain, and the harvest of a soul that is surrendered to Jesus Christ.
And that sounds exciting!
But today, I find myself in a mixture of bittersweetness, loving the stage we’re in, and also anticipating what will be coming in the future. I want to treasure these moments. I’ll never again have the Autumn of Twenty-Fourteen with my kids, and I want to squeeze all the little joy-drops out of it that I can.