Raising children Jay and I have heard a lot.
All well meaning…sometimes inappropriate.
My favorite was said to us while on vacation in Gulf Shores. We were all sitting down to dinner trying to entertain Phoebe with those awesome game placemats, and keeping Ellie from eating the crayons, and keeping Reagan from eating gum from under the table and praying to the god of the Internet that the restaurant had wifi so Max could play his DS.
We were on a roll.
Biscuits and drinks had been delivered and orders had been placed.
About 45 loooonnnngggg minutes into our dinner a sweet faced gentleman leaned over and said to Jason. “Man, I’ve been watching y’all during dinner and noticed your knee bounced up and down the whole time. I got one of those too. I got mine from Vietnam.”
Our family was just compared to the Viet-Cong.
But as our kiddos grow, I really feel like we are reaching a (knock on wood) “sweet spot.” Meaning, everyone can walk, talk (some more than others) feed themselves, and almost everyone is done pooping on themselves…(C’mon Ellie! You got this!)
There are two things I vow to never say to a sweet young mama or dad, especially those who have that glazed look in their eyes indicating lack of sleep or lack of patience that could very well end them up on the front page of the newspaper…
1) “Boy, you sure do have your hands full!!”
‘Thank you Capt. Obvious…I didn’t realize that! I thought that one having a nuclear meltdown because she’s hungry and napless, and two hanging out the buggy reaching for a Mountain Dew Code Red, and three climbing the dog food display at the end of aisle 7, while four is scooping money out of the fish pond in the Floral Department…was a completely normal!
Now since you’re on to me, grab a kid and help me get the heck out of here…or they are going home with YOU!
This statement is, like I said, completely well meaning, and probably only said because people don’t know what to say when they see our tribe coming.
They are thinking, “Sweet Jesus. That poor thing.”
Just walk away man.
Just walk away.
2) “One day, you are going to miss this.”
Now, I know the “this” people are talking about it is the baby-ness, the sweet toddler voice saying, “wook mama” and the late night snuggles when one sneaks into my bed and curls into the curve of my back.
Because let’s face it. Some fool has their finger on the fast forward button of life.
And too soon the baby grows into a man child who checks daily for arm pit hair, and the sweet toddler voice turns into big man voice, and the late night snuggles stop altogether as they sleep in until noon on the weekends.
BUT can I tell you something mama?
I will not miss this…
And I can’t wait for the day when I can have something and it not get broken by nosy little hands. Or have crap smeared on the walls. Or my mop head broken because someone thought it was a good idea to play baseball with it…ahem.
And isn’t this why we feed them? I mean, obviously also so we won’t get turned into Child Protective Services…but we feed them so they’ll grow! Our job is to work ourselves OUT of a job!
God has really dealt with me severely on this, especially leading up to the birth of Ellie, our 4th and last baby. I was very emotional about the ‘shop’ going out of business…about never having a baby to nurse or little tiny baby clothes to wash.
I really felt God telling me
Isaiah 43:19 The Message
“Forget about what’s happened;
don’t keep going over old history.
Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new.
It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?
There it is! I’m making a road through the desert,
rivers in the badlands.
I could almost hear Him say,
“Snap out of it Jill!
Yes, you will have no more babies to deliver!
And yes you will miss those baby days some days,
but I’m going to give you a lifetime beyond the 18 years of raising these kids of new and fun seasons!”
I truly believe He is a FUN God! And how incredibly insulting of me to be sad about them
not needing me like they used to as a baby.
All the while life is going on around me…without me.
So, no, you will not hear me say to young parents, especially while they are clearly distressed and trying their Jim Dandiest NOT to drop their tiny little blessing off at the nearest Walmart…
“Now, come on… one day you’re going to miss this…”
because not for one minute do I want to miss out on the blessings and fun times that God has for me in my ‘baby’ loving his first crush, or my 2nd working hard to hit an “out of the park” homerun, or my baby girl getting the courage to jump off the high dive or my 4th learning to ride a bike by herself.
Because one day, those babies will be my best friends.
I wouldn’t miss that for the world.
I’m a book-shelving, former tap dancer, wanna be writer, singer,
and banjo player, mother of 4, wife of 1, follower of Christ,
walking in the shadow of the Proverbs 31 woman
and redeemed by the grace and love of an Almighty God…
just living the dream.