Thursday, November 1, 2012


I once heard an experienced mother share a thought on being present for our children. She said that her children were grown and she remembered their childhood experiences with fondness; but she had worked hard to be there for them emotionally and physically as they were growing up, so she didn’t long for those bygone days. She had seen others who missed their children’s milestones for a variety of reasons and later looked back wistfully and wished they could turn back the clock.

I have thought of that concept a lot through the years. I am grateful I can be there for my children, but it isn’t always enjoyable. When Grace’s diaper leaks all over both of us while my kids are whining for breakfast, Cameron is usually at work and no one is there to hold down the fort while I shower. If one of my kids has a tantrum or spills grapes or gum drops all over the aisle of the grocery store, no one is there to reassure me that I am doing the right thing and this too shall pass. Right before church when Cameron is at meetings and Jake informs me that he just cut Abby's hair, I can take a deep breath and put my best foot forward.
The haircut Abby got after Jake's barbering job is so cute it makes me think I should get mine cut to match.
But being there also means witnessing all the magical moments of childhood. I see Grace’s excitement before she goes down the slide. I feel a sense of contentment when she plops in my lap with yet another book to read. I laugh out loud when she enjoys her lunch so much that she tries to lick her plate. I look at Abby’s precious face when I play with her and wish I could freeze the moment forever. I see her giddiness each week when she goes to her dance class, and I can’t help smiling.

I take pride in Jake’s accomplishments as he’s learning how to read. I watch in deep satisfaction when he helps Grace stand up when she falls or helps Abby with her seat buckle. I feel a glimmer of joy when my children share or serve or are kind to each other.

A few weeks ago Jake wanted to walk to school, and we arrived a bit early. Jake wanted to toss a ball with me before class started. Deep down inside, I wondered how much longer he will want to play with me instead of his friends. Thank goodness I am there for all these moments. It is sweet.

It isn’t easy. It isn’t glamorous. But I love being there. 

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