Thursday, July 1, 2010

day 179: nearly “childless”

I have another reading blog already to post, but I have to stop for a few minutes and remind all of you with little ones to enjoy every moment of it. I know, I know…I say it all the time—and others said it to me twenty years ago. However, I didn’t always believe them. I was sure that the fourteen+ years out of seventeen that I was either pregnant and/or nursing would last forever. I was sure I would never have any “time to myself” in this life. I was sure that little people would always need me—and I would always be exhausted.

I was wrong. And if you think that, you are wrong too. And I sit here in an empty house tonight all alone as a reminder of how wrong that thinking is.

We have three kids still “at home”---one amazing son who is a senior in high school this fall (who is traveling all summer with a drama ministry team); one a sophomore in the fall (who is usually home working in our publishing company and being his normal, wonderful self but is gone this week working with our son-in-law); and one precious little guy who will be twelve years old tomorrow (who is gone right now out on the town celebrating with his big sister who is home for a while itinerating for her full time missionary appointment she recently received).

So tonight it’s just me and Ray—a moment I dreamed of for so many years and one that happens with fair amount of frequency lately. It is nice to talk interrupted, to run over to our dance studio and practice dance steps, to pop a movie in and laugh and be together. However, as Ray returns Training for Triumph calls in the next room and I sit down to write love notes on my kids’ Facebook walls, all I can do is cry.

It’s strange, really, as I love this season of life so much. Ray and I invested literally years of our lives into our kids’ lives—and now we get to reap the rewards. We get to have relationships with teenagers and young adults that many just dream of having. We get to continue to help guide and direct the lives of our five kids who are eighteen to twenty-seven in such amazing ways—because they ask us to and want us to. And no, everything isn’t always perfect, but the relationships are there—and that is what we have strived for during all of our parenting years.

Yet something still makes me teary-eyed (okay, downright weepy!) this week (besides hormones!). It is that longing for days gone by—only the good times, of course. Only the easy, fun, rewarding times. Not the hard, long, demanding ones.

And I know that, that is part of it. When I look back in years gone by, I only remember all of the “romantic times,” if you will. The half hour plus spent most everyday on the sofa French braiding and “pontytailing” three little girls in a row. The late nights gathered in our bedroom with four teenagers laughing and carrying on. The moments early in the morning with a baby at the breast and a toddler holding a book, ready for early morning reading. The sweetness, the smiles, the laughter, the games, the singing, the reading, the kindness, the light bulb moments—those times that make me so glad that we did what we have done for the past twenty-seven years—those times that make me heart-sick for days gone by.


  1. Sounds like you are doing a terrific job of raising your children. My kids are 6, 6, and 9. I cherish everyday.
    Your positive relationships with your teenagers and young adults came from the care and time you put into being a good mom. Congratulations!
    Enjoy your time with your hubby. You'll be busy grandparents soon. A whole new chapter to your life will be written.

  2. Beautiful post!

    I have three little ones (ages 6, 3, and 1) and another due in October. I hear the sentiment of "Enjoy it, it goes by fast!" a lot. But to tell the truth, when I am at the grocery store trying to find something I can make that night for dinner while one child accidentally knocks things off the shelf, another is licking the cart, and the other is just screaming because it's way past her naptime, and Daddy isn't going to be home until after bedtime, all I can think is, "Not fast enough!"

    But I heard another mom, one that was at the end of her child-rearing season of life, put it another way. She said,

    "Long are the days...but short are the years."

    So, so true. Now that I can relate to.