I finally cleaned my floors last night. I wore my socks for three days in a row to avoid the stick. I was grateful for the mess. For my five kids, and all their spills. For the coughing, and the antibiotic pills.
Ten backpacks – five are broken.
15 textbooks. 400 pens and pencils. (Ask my sister. She’s seen it.)
And multiple personalities for each one of us.
Every day has unique schedules and specific needs.
Arsenal of attitudes – good and bad and open and resistant and close and distant.
Four alarm clocks. Three early morning transports. 12 Pop-tarts/bagels/or bowls of Captain Crunch.
“Mom, can you sign this?”
“Dad, I need money for my lab fee.”
“I lost my PE shirt.”
“Where are my socks?”
And in the midst of all this…and so much more…
Conversations. Eye contact. Warm embraces. Hard questions. Easy answers.
You matter. Each one. More than I could ever tell you. More than I will ever get to show you in this lifetime.
I will fight for these connections and moments, and I will hold them sacred in my heart.
I will pull them out in ten years, when I most need them. When I desperately long for the loud mornings, long days, and late nights.
In ten years…
Wil you’ll be 25 – a grown man, carrying your own dreams.
Kylie, you’ll be 24 – a beautiful, godly woman, walking into your adult world.
Davis, you’ll be 22 – the next Billy Graham, delivering your joy to all who listen.
And Gloria and Dalton, you will be in your senior year of high school. My nest will be almost empty.
Your wings will be bursting with excitement and freedoms any 17 year old would be aching for.
My nest will be empty. And yet, it won’t be. I will remember today.
Even the connections that were hard. When you said those words that you can’t take back. When I shot that glance of disappointment.
Moments that I listened. And moments that I didn’t. Moments that were rushing. And moments that were gushing.
I will remember shopping for new backpacks. (Don’t buy non-brand name backpacks. They don’t even last four weeks.)
My day began with you Gloria. You were the first to wake up. Your tired eyes and bouncy curls said, “Hi Momma.” You glowed in the dark corner of your room. Your glory on display.
Then, I woke you Dalton. You stepped out of bed, right into my body, for a sweet, tender hug. You initiated it. I will remember. I hold that hug as my sacred moment with you. I will remember your head, against my heart.
Davis, I got you all to myself for a breakfast date. A Starbucks/McDonald’s combo – dream world for you. Two sausage burritos, one java chip frappucino, and me. And my silly questions. And your amazing grin, and fascinating freckles. I got to be just your mom. For that moment.
Kylie, I picked you up, by yourself, and today, at high school, was not your favorite day. I saw the ache, and then I asked too many questions. You said “stop”. So, I held you from a distance. In my heart. In my prayers. I will remember your hurting heart and heavy eyes. And how I chose, in that sacred moment, to hold you, and to let you go.
Wil, my sacred moment with you was our dinner at Chipoltle. We got our burritos. You took three bites and it was gone. I’d hardly unwrapped mine when you looked at me, without speaking, and asked, “Are you gonna share yours with me Mom?” I did. And you shared too. You gave me you. In your green eyes and full smile and wise statement. I told you what I had learned today, in several conversations with hurting friends.
“It’s when we are most broken, even, all the way broken, that we finally see how Jesus makes us whole.”
And you said, ”You can know who Jesus is, or you can KNOW Jesus. It’s when we know Him, as our own, that we can give him all that is broken.” 15. You. 41. Me. And your wisdom, your simple acceptance of your truth in Him – you are so ahead of me.
Today was fast and full and furious.
And yet, the moments were not. They were sacred. And held. And rich, in every possible way.
Thank you Maria Luby for asking me the question this morning. I am still figuring all this parenting out.
COMMENTS are LOVED – each and every one..
When do your teenagers really talk to you? When do you find the most natural connections with your kids of all ages?
How do you create special time with your kids – especially during the rush of the school year?
What does it look like? How do you schedule it?
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photo by Diane Dultmeier Photography, Stuart, FL http://www.dultmeierphoto.com/