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.

black and white

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.

black and white Zoe black and white skirt

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.

Zoe at seven Zoe girl twirl twirling girl still has all her baby teeth dancing girl

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,
It moved!!!!”
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. :)

IMG_1635 little girl

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?”]

smile as sweet as ever

tutus and sparkly shoes sweeties

sisters smile as sweet as ever

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.

Happy Wednesday!

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10 thoughts on “When Little Kids Grow Up.

  1. Karyn

    Thank you for encouraging women and even young girls to love the gift of children! My daughter read your blog and was inspired by the beauty of a mother who loves her children, instead of complaining of being stressed out etcetera! My children are teens now and I still struggle to “let go” along with imploring my Father for wisdom to prepare them for life away from home. He answers that cry, I know from my own experience! And I absolutely LOVE being a mother!

  2. Claude

    I think Erv & I both put that striking first photo as our desktop background…It just has to be.
    Boy I’m already sentimental about my kids growing up…haha

  3. Kassie

    Ahhh….goodness, I can relate. Mine just turned 2 and I’m wondering where those precious preemies went? But they are at such a fun, sweet stage and I just want to hold onto it forever. My husband just reminds me to enjoy each stage, no matter the age. He says there will be something that I love about every age. :) I guess I just get a little sad that there will be no more babies in my house (and that was our decision, but still…..). Your little ones are beautiful.

  4. Kim A.

    I hear you, Clarita! My oldest will be playing her last field hockey games in these next weeks, in this “autumn of twenty-fourteen” and I don’t want that to end—she’ll be in college (last year at this time, I wouldn’t even be able to say the word “college” without feeling like I would hyperventilate!!)12 hours away next fall—but you know what? God gives joy for each season of life! And would we really want it any other way?! It’s such a gift!! :)

  5. Kellie

    Oh how I understand exactly what you’re feeling! Pretty much every day I think how my kids are changing and I wish time would slow down. Abigail will be TWENTY on Wednesday and I have had so many thoughts lately of how time has flown by. I remember rocking her as a brand new baby with tears I my eyes and saying, “she’s going to grow up so fast!” and it was true! I am really trying to remember that each day is a gift and I need to cherish each age and stage. There really are so many great things about each! You have so much to look forward to as Zoe, and all your kids, grow up! My daughters really are my very best friends! Zoe is just beautiful and I’m sure will grow more beautiful each year!

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