Yesterday was the first day of once a week enrichment classes for our kids. We have been in this homeschool program for 10 years. As I walked through the building for the beginning of yet another school year, I was somewhat surprised at the emotions that overtook me. I had to fight back the tears. Our oldest was 12 when we started this program and now she has been married for almost a year and is due any day with our first grandbaby. Our second daughter is also recently married. Our third born is going into his Junior year of college (as an 18 year old). Two sons in high school, a daughter and son in middle school and our youngest is in 2nd grade.
I have one thing to say, “WHAT JUST HAPPENED?????” For so many years I did what was in front of me to do day in and day out. Sometimes I felt like I was drowning. Most of the time I loved it. But never did it feel like it was going to be over anytime soon. I still have children at home, but they are all so much older. They are helpful in many ways, but can also be challenging in many ways. It’s very good, but not nearly as simple as it used to be.
I sat in the mom’s room and visited with a mom who was nursing a baby. I nursed our youngest in that same chair years ago. I watched 3 toddlers interact and play “office” together. They had a small computer, a desk and a phone. They acted like little grown ups, only much more excitable. I listened to them talk. I couldn’t understand a word they were saying, but they seemed to completely understand each other. I giggled to myself and felt a wave of sadness over not having littles in the house anymore. I miss their exuberance. I miss the way they express themselves. I miss their chubby little hands and cheeks.
There are so many blessings that come with older children and for that I am thankful. But I also feel very blessed that I get to visit those baby and toddler years again with our grandchildren. I can hardly wait to hold them in my arms and kiss their sweet smelling cheeks and know that, much like our children, these precious ones are also part of me…of all of us. And I am looking forward to watching our children raise theirs. Still very present in their lives, but taking on a different, more supportive role. .
If you are struggling with little ones today (or older ones), remember, this too shall pass. Be faithful. Keep your hand to the plow. Rest in God’s greatness and in his faithfulness to you. He loves you and the ones you love.