I’m shuffling from room to room dragging pounds and pounds of dirty laundry.
Actually pounds and pounds is an understatement. It’s more like tons. Six kids can crank out a load of dirty.
But, I’m not complaining. I actually enjoy the sanctuary of the chug-chug-churn-churn in the cozy room tucked past the kitchen. The kids aren’t very interested in that room. A nice refuge for Mama.
I remembering shuffling from room to room thirteen years ago. I was full-up swollen to the rim with a new life waiting for his entrance. I thought I’d be pregnant forever. Vomiting and all. We pregnant women tend to believe the hefty weight of new life will never leave our bladder; but we are wrong.
The day arrives. The tiny gift from God emerges, sucks lungs full of life, and screams. For about three more years. Well, there is some peace and rest in there, too. And the long days stretch into short years. Before we know it, that baby prancing on our bladders and wriggling for the freedom found only in Mama’s arms… that baby, grows up.
And this is where our hearts burst and ache all at the same time.
I look over at my boy and can’t help grinning. This boy who thought he would be little forever and,
When will I get taller?
I can’t contain the smile, because I’ve told him time and again,
Just wait. You’ll grow taller than me. You’ll be big before I can stand it.
He sees me smiling and ventures across the room for a hug. They still do that, you know. Even at almost thirteen. I wasn’t sure if the big boys would still want those Mama hugs, but they do.
We are nearly eye-to-eye and that familiar dread creeps into my mind.
We don’t have much more time. I don’t think I can bear letting them go.
We see our friends and family send kids to college, while we nostalgically watch our young friends bring new life home.
It all goes too fast. Our parents and grandparents said it would. But, we didn’t really believe it – or want to hear it.
The faster the downhill snowball of parenthood, the more we dig our heels into the ground trying to stop the momentum. But we can’t.
And, I’m tired of being sad about it. And dreading it.
I remember the hope my sister-in-law gave me years ago when I asked her what her favorite age was with the kids.
Every age has been the best age. I’ve loved every year. It changes, but it’s amazing to watch them grow… to see the people they become.
We bring home these babies and before we know it the babies have deep voices, and whiskers, and look us right in the eye.
I’m done with the dread and the wondering if my heart will be able to take it. Because I know it will. Dreading the journey because we think it will end is like dreading the gift before we’ve opened it. The journey IS the gift.
My boy wraps his arms all the way around me and suddenly I realize…
The tiny arms were just a glimpse of the whole picture. These long arms with the hands as big as mine have been waiting to find their way full around my shoulders.
We have an eternal journey down this road. Shoulder to shoulder. There is much yet to see.
And the Light shines brighter than I realized all those thirteen years ago…
I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.