“If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together.. there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart.. I'll always be with you.”
~A.A. Milne, from "Winnie the Pooh"

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Food for Thought

Something has been bothering me lately. 
I admit that I am just as bad as anyone else when it comes to whining about my babies growing up. I try not to, but if I'm honest with myself, I know that there are times (like last Saturday night) that watching my kids spread their wings in their first faltering flights away from home breaks my mama's heart. Days when I look at my growing son and still see that precious angelic face that stared up at me in wide eyed wonder not so long ago. Days when I look around myself and realize that one day the chaos that fills our home will fade away into silence. And it makes me sad. 
But thus is life. Kids grow up and move away from home. They have husbands and wives, and someday possibly children of their own. It doesn't do any good to cry about it...or to continually wish that they would slow down and wait until we're ready to let them go. Because, mamas, we'll never be ready. Ever. 

 And honestly, how many of us would choose the alternative? To have kids who never grow up? 
I think a few too many of us would have to admit that we never stop to really think about the reality of what we are so quick to wish for. And a few too many of us never thought twice about our dreams of a Peter Pan-like existence, unless faced with the unthinkable, losing one of our kids.
My great-grandma Lydia was nearing her 100th birthday when she left this world. She had given birth to a whole passel of children during her life. Of all of those kids, only 2 survived her. I can't imagine the pain that must come with burying one child, let alone almost all of them. The day of her funeral I looked at my sleeping baby boy and decided that if outliving my kids is what was required of me to live 100 years, I don't want to live on this Earth that long.
It never crossed my mind that maybe my kids wouldn't outlive me. Until Lydia's surgery and the aftermath that followed. I knew that I could make it through the surgery and the recovery, despite my doubts. What I could have never made it through was losing her. As I watched her struggle for each and every breath on that terrifying Saturday afternoon, I looked my worst fear in the face. I was watching her fade right before my eyes. I have never felt so helpless in all of my life. I have never known fear that deep, that paralyzing. I sincerely hope it's an experience I never have to go through again.
God was giving me a lesson about the fragility of life.

This thing we call life can be gone in an instant. Today. Tomorrow. Or 30 years from now. No one knows but God Himself.

So I may whine. I may even cry. But I will never wish for my kids to not grow up (even as I soak up the extra bit of baby lovin' I'm getting right now). While we're wishing our kids won't, someone somewhere is wishing that their child had had the chance TO grow up. While we're kissing our kids goodnight, someone in the world is kissing their baby goodbye for the last time. When our house is booming with laughter and uncontrolled chaos, another parent is sitting in the shell of a home listening to the echoing silence left by a child who left this world long before their parents were ready to let go.

Be thankful for that chance to watch them shed the safe cocoon of childhood for the graceful wings of a butterfly.........
Because somewhere there is a parent who would give anything just to be standing in your shoes.

1 comment:

  1. I recently found your blog. Love the content, love the title, love the pics. Cute doesn't even begin to describe that precious girl of yours!


Yes, I read every single comment and I love them all! Please leave us one (and imagine me doing a happy dance when I see it!)