"...close your eyes very tightly and breathe in a deep breath of that moment...for someday you will want to close your eyes...and see that moment again."
Our baby just turned twelve. Unbelievable. I remember the days when all I wanted was a twelve year old! I actually thought that all of my problems (too much work, too little help, short nights, long days, so many needs of young children, etc.) would be solved if I just had a twelve year old to help me. I’m not sure where I came up with that magical age, but for me, a twelve year old was like having two adults home during the day!
Guess what? I was right to a large extent. The ages between ten and fifteen became true “magical” ages for me as my kids were so helpful, cheerful, and diligent. Of course, sixteen to twenty-seven have been wonderful too, but our kids get pretty involved in ministry, higher education, and work and are less and less available at home in that stage (as it should be). Those years have been amazing too, though, as we have watched our kids grow into the adults they are.
What I didn’t count on was the fact that once your first child turns twelve, time speeds up at two or three times its previous rate. While the days had felt so long, they were now over in the blink of an eye. While I had thought Joshua would never turn twelve, he did, and the next thing I knew, Kayla turned twelve, and, it seemed, a month later, Cami did. And so it continued until now…when our last little guy turned twelve.
So today we are having our last twelfth birthday party. Last night, as Ray and I lay in bed, we commented with teary eyes that Ray had just played basketball in the driveway for the very last time with one of our kids at age eleven. I had just read bedtime stories to our final eleven year old—for tomorrow, he would turn twelve, as all of the kids had done. And to think that I wished and wished for a twelve year old.
The moral of this story: don’t wish for a twelve year old. For you will likely get what you wish for—and maybe before you want it. You will probably get, as we have gotten, more than one twelve year old—in rapid succession.
Another piece of advice: every once in a while, close your eyes very tightly and breathe in a deep breath of that moment, whatever that moment might be. Hold it in your mind in still picture and say aloud, “I will never forget this moment.” Someday you will want to close your eyes, take a deep breath, and see that moment again.