"...But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart."
I spent a good part of worship at church yesterday morning holding Ethan. For those of you that don't know Ethan, he is my stocky five, almost six-year-old funny man. We always joke that God must have pulled his personality out of the surprise box as he is one of the sweetest, yet uniquely funny kids I've ever met, and honestly, that is a fairly un-biased observation :o)
He is at the sweetest stage of life, mostly big boy, but still in love with me and oblivious to the "mom, my friends are all watching" public display of affection awareness that sadly comes with age... He kisses me, hugs me, holds my hand, rubs my back, all with childish abandonment. His particularly sweet nature and personality just makes it all the more pronounced. As hard as I am trying...there are really no words...
I've mentioned before how my children seem to be more affectionate with me at church, although I've noticed it when we watch movies together or read as well, so I think it is really more of a "mom is sitting down, let's grab her" kind of thing, not specifically related to church. But that is where I tend to notice it most.
So, we're at church, standing up and worshipping. I've been holding Noah, then Moriah, and the next thing I know, Ethan is reaching up for me to hold him. So there I stand, holding my fifty pound sweetie. For a good 15 minutes I stood and just held him, holding the tears at bay. Thanking the Lord for my precious boy who, in that instant I realized, was soon, in the blink of an eye, going to be bigger than me. I treasured up every thought, every feeling of his still small body holding onto my neck, resting his head on my shoulder, rubbing my hair and giving me kisses. Before I know it, this stage of my life will have passed and I will be left aching for small arms to embrace me with pure childish abandon.
Somewhere along the way I crossed the line. You always hear older moms say to treasure it, to not wish it away, yet it is so hard when we are surrounded by laundry and toy squabbles and diapers and dishes and impatient two year olds, to not wish for that next, optimistically easier stage of life. To wish our children into their adulthood. I eagerly anticipate my children being even more self sufficient and the evolving of our friendship that will come with age, but I am beginning to get a taste of what those older, wiser women mean when they caution us to treasure those moments. When I was holding Ethan I had this intense, conscious realization that out of the span of my whole life, the very narrow window of time that I have with him as a boy totally in love with his mommy is almost past, and to savor every minute, to treasure it, to store it up in my heart. So I did. I relished him. And I've begun my week with renewed focus on the important things of life.
People ask why I have so many children...now you know...because it is worth it. Every smile, every slobbery kiss, every shiny rock, every flower, every picture, every hug, pajama feet and freshly scrubbed children running in towels, children piled on the bed with popcorn and a movie complete with 3-D glasses on the two year old, Bible stories told by Dad, Anna teaching Moriah how to write her name, bigger boys explaining to little boys how they're going to teach them to play dinosaurs and shoot arrows, 4 year olds learning to write their name and pictures of stick people with big heads on my refrigerator, silly songs and sleepy baby stretches...I can't resist it. It is the stuff life is made of. It is my life.
For which I am exceedingly and overwhelmingly thankful...
"How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about arithmetic, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No; a woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness." ~GK Chesterton
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