Motherhood can be a little strange. Sometimes it feels like I would give my right arm to be alone in my own house for a few hours. Then, if I actually do get out of the house, I find myself thinking about the kids or missing them.
Dave and I will sometimes drive to Starbucks for a coffee and then run into a store and look around. For some odd reason, when we go into one particular store, I feel this melancholy feeling. I suddenly start thinking about the kids as if I haven't seen them in days. It's not a store designed for kids. It's mostly curtains, dishes, and miscellaneous items for your home. So you wouldn't think it would trigger any feeling like that. But I feel sort of sad as I'm walking around. When I get into the car again to leave, I think I may even smile.
I think that even though days as a mom can be so monotonous, they are actually creating our fondest memories. A few months ago I wrote about this on another blog I had, so if you've read this before, please bear with me:)
When our son was little, we never knew when we woke up in the morning if this would be a day that he would end up back in the hospital. It was very stressful living in that environment day in and day out. On the days that he was in the hospital, I would find myself staring out the hospital window, feeling very torn. Of course, I wanted to be with him, but I also had other little ones at home. When we were finally back home again, I found the greatest joy in just washing the dishes and looking out the window of our home at Teen Challenge. The smallest, most mundane tasks were wonderful to me. It's what I call "beautiful monotony".
We as moms do tend to wipe down the same counters, wash the same loads of laundry, load the dishwasher with the same dishes, pick up the same toys...the list goes on and on. But how wonderful! That means you have a family to care for and little people there that need you. They are the ones God has given you to care for. No one can take your place.
On the terrible day that we took our son, Alex, to the hospital and he did not come home again, I went into his room that I had left just hours before. I stood in front of his closet and looked at his clothes. His clothes still smelled like him. I realized I had been living a lovely life. No, things weren't perfect. If your child's health is not good, then it can never be perfect. But we had our life together - both good times and bad times, all under one roof together. Our time with each other had been a gift.
That's why I encourage you to never take any of your days for granted. I remember what it is like when all your children are small. Take a break when you can, of course. Take a walk or browse around Target, but remember - these days when they are small, or age 12, or age 15, 18, 20, 21 - these days will never come back again. The time to enjoy it is now. These days are the ones God has given you.
I reminded myself of this just this morning as I watched our 12 year old son leave for school. I was fine until I watched him from my kitchen window. I watched as he walked up the sidewalk to the bus stop and then I burst into tears. Next summer, he won't be 12 years old anymore. That was only for this summer. The way his hair looks right now, his sun tanned skin, his smile, all those things may look slightly different next summer. Next summer, he will be thirteen! There is only one 12th summer.
Too often, I want to hurry something up. I want summer to hurry up, so that it can be my favorite season of fall. But I was reminded this morning not to hurry things up. Because then I am hurrying up their childhood.
These beautiful children are the ones that God has given me and I thank Him so much. I am very, very rich.
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