As we were standing waiting to go into the viewing on Friday evening, an older gentleman that we know stopped to talk to us. He was trying to sort out and remember just who Joel was, and how he was related, and which one of Dale and Rhoda's sons he was, etc. As we talked, he was admiring our family and enjoying the non-stop conversation that our kiddos were providing him with. Then, he looked at me, and said one simple thought that will stick with me for a long time.
"Enjoy them while you have them. They grow up so fast! You won't have 'em forever, you know!"
So often, I live my life like I WILL have my children little and with me forever. But I know I won't. They will grow and get older and eventually leave my nest. I have only a few short years with them this little, when Noah still loves snuggling in bed with me in the morning, when Leanna will bury her head in my shoulder for comfort, when Eli will still give me a goodnight kiss, and I'm still 'Mama' to Cosette. One day, my big, strapping young men will come walking in my kitchen door with a beautiful wife of their own and say "Hey Mom, what was that recipe you used to make? I was telling my wife about it and how good it was---could you teach her how to make it?" (I know this for a fact, because the exact same conversation has occurred between my own husband and his mother ;) I'll look at my tall sons, taller than me, and wonder where my little boys went.
So, for now, my house may not be perfect. I stay home more instead of saying 'yes' to lots of social activities, responsibilities and whatnot. Because, you see, my babies will only be little for a very short time. I won't have them 'mine' forever. This is my chance to mold them, teach them, train them, educate them, and steal about 200 kisses each day. I may fail at having a perfectly clean house, there are far fewer piano students walking through my doors than I'd dream of, becoming a gourmet chef and attending cooking school will probably just remain a fun, far-off dream---but I WILL not mess up with my children. I will live every day realizing that it is one less day that I now have with them as babies and small children. I will NOT look back with regret.
Whether you're a working parent, or a stay at home mom; whether you home-school your kids, or send them to public or private school; whether you live on a farm or in a big city; whether you eat gourmet from-scratch cooking each night or enjoy the convenient frozen pizza; whether your income is quite-sufficient, or sometimes quite lacking, the charge remains the same: Love those kids like there's no tomorrow!!
Can I hear an 'Amen', Moms and Dads??