IT IS the best of times; it is (sometimes) the worst of times. I have three children, ages 16, 12, and 5. It’s not lost on me how fast they grow. Now, with a child who is nearing 18, it really does go by too fast. While I love being their mother at any of their ages, I would have to say I have truly enjoyed the younger years with them. The cuddling, kisses and hugs, and them constantly being attached to my hip. While that may seem crazy to some, I would much rather have my child needing a hug than give me attitude. I feel like most of you who are parents can commiserate.
My son is the youngest and as wild and sweet as they come. At the bold but also tender age of 5, he’s ready to take on the world, but he also wants his mom and dad close to keep him safe while he tries to conquer.
A few months ago, I was tested on my theory of loving the younger years as he went through a significant milestone: losing his first tooth. To say it was dramatic would be an understatement. It all happened as we were walking out the door to head to preschool. While he was brave, there was also quite a bit of screaming and blood, along with me being told I was a “bad doctor.” He was right on that one. I’m a writer, not a doctor, and I have never played one on television. The good news is that he lived to tell about it and received a whopping $3 for his first tooth. A pretty good haul for a tooth if you ask me. My most significant tooth payday memory was a handful of dimes under my pillow, courtesy of my own tooth fairy — my grandfather.
On the other hand, I was left a little ragged and torn. Getting out the door with three kids is never easy. Add in the drama of losing a tooth during an already crazy morning; I would be lying if I said that it didn’t leave me a little depleted.
I know I’m preaching to the choir when I say that being a mom, or a parent, is hard work. Sleepless nights, long days, hurried moments, and the constant worry if we are doing it right. It all goes so fast; will our children know just how much we love them? They never tell you about the hard parts.
But there is a small voice in my head, and if I quiet the crazy for just a moment, I can hear it say, “I got you, girl.”
And if I stay quiet just a little longer, I can hear: “I got you. I’ve always had you, and I’ll always have you. Be still and know that I am God.”
And he’s right, you know. He’s got me. Through the crazy mornings, nights of worry, and tears of sadness that my babies are growing so fast, He’s holding me and has already made the way. All I need to do is remember his promise. Psalms 16:8 is just one of the many verses in the bible that tell us this.
“I know that the Lord always has me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.”
That night as I snuggled with my little guy, he looked up at me and, with his beautiful toothless grin, told me he loved me. And I was reminded then that he knows I love him.
So I’m trying. In moments of chaos, uncertainty, and even fear, I remind myself that He is with me and loves me. Remember what we learned from Mister Rogers? He loves us just as we are. We love our children just as they are. We should also remember that the good Lord does the same for all his children, even in our worst moments. GN