Looking at old pictures takes us to a place gone by, times we want to remember but often forget. As I watched a slideshow of old pictures, I remembered a time when my mom was healthy and beautiful and full of life. I saw her sisters and brother, my granny, my grandpa. All of them are gone now except for two.
While I know we shouldn’t grieve for saints gone on, I can’t help but long for those times of laughter and good food and fun times. Unfortunately, we can’t turn back the clock, but we can enjoy the now.
Slow down and enjoy what we have right now
I was kissing the little girls goodnight a few nights ago, and it hit me.Hard. As I was hugging HR and telling her how much I love her, I realized how my mom must have felt, knowing she was dying. How as she brushed our hair or tried to braid it, tears must have stung as she realized her time was limited. I’m sure she wondered how many more times she would get to do the simple things.
That night tucking the little girls in, I realized just how young my mom was, to have been diagnosed, lived with, and finally defeated by cancer all by 37 years. I understand now how young she felt, and what a hard reality it must have been. Rocking Jbear at night, though tired and ready to get him to bed, I realize how blessed I am. I’m blessed at 38 to hold and love on my baby, to be kissing my loves and tucking them in.
I stink at being a mom
I’m going to be honest with you: I really stink at being a mom most days. My kids drive me up the wall. They fuss, and they fight, cry and whine, wake up the baby. Many days, I want to lock their wild little selves outside (like I remember my mom doing to us). And I find myself wishing away the time: wishing God hadn’t called us to homeschool, wishing they were past this whiny stage, wishing Jbear would stop climbing and getting into stuff! But then I see how blessed I am in those tender moments when I tuck them in bed or one crawls in my lap. Watching the old pictures roll through on the slideshow, reminds me that years past feel like yesterday.
I remind myself that time is passing quickly and to stop wishing it away, to live in the moment. How can I not slow down and enjoy the time I have?
A sad and sobering realization
One day very soon, HR and K-boo won’t need their hair brushed and braided. M2 won’t shout down the hall for someone to come wipe him. Jbear won’t need or want me to rock him at night. BB will understand phonics and math, and Nan and E won’t need me to referee them as they do the dishes, or constantly remind them to do their school work. And sadly, it won’t be all that important to these little people that Mama tuck them in at night and give them a kiss and a squeeze or that Daddy sing “Bushel and a Peck” to their utter delight.
The biggest reason their antics irritate me is that they inconvenience me. When I read that idea for the first time, I really took offense. However, as I began to analyze myself and actions, I found it to be true. Not that I’m any better at it, but I know that’s the root of most of my annoyances in our daily grind. Today, for example, I knew I was writing this blog post, so I was fully aware of my annoyance with inconvenience. Still I struggled when the kids didn’t obey right away or came running through the house while Jbear was sleeping.
Let it not be so! I want to be here for them while God has us together, not wishing them or time away, not being annoyed or irritated because they inconvenience me. Instead, I want to love on them, and be patient and kind, welcoming their interruptions, understanding that time with them is fleeting.
Being aware doesn’t make it any easier, but it causes me take more of a pause. It’s hard for you, too, isn’t it? They get on your nerves, drive you up the wall, too, don’t they? I haven’t met a mom yet to had her act together all the time. Don’t be fooled. That mama in the grocery store with her poise and grace is sometimes just one more “Mama, can I have this?” away from snapping. Even the best mamas have rough days, are running on little sleep, and need a break, and most likely a latte!
Linger a little longer
Let’s agree to try to remember how fast time really does march on. Can we agree to linger just a little longer? Linger at the school table…at the breakfast table…in the rocking chair…at their bedsides…listening (really listening) to them.Linger at the school table...at the breakfast table...in the rocking chair...at their bedsides...listening (really listening) to them.Click To Tweet
Let’s enjoy combing out the knotted hair and scrubbing the dirty feet. I challenge us all (Yep. Me, too, because I fail miserably!) to put our own agenda aside and linger and play and laugh and maybe even sing. Just for a few moments let’s be un-distracted, giving full attention to our little ones.
One day, it will be their turn to watch the slideshow reminiscing of times gone by. What will they remember?