I dropped off three of my kids at VBS today, and not one of them clung to me. For the first time ever.
Typically, in a new situation, one child (and it varies which child it is) is nervous and doesn’t want to participate.
Typically, I leave those situations sweaty and frustrated…having bribed, coerced, begged, and nearly cried to my child…because I know they’ll have fun once the initial jitters go away. And because I know mama needs a break.
But today, all three of my older kids walked right in (and my youngest begged to stay).
Sometimes I grieve this process. My baby still talks so sweetly that I want to record him everyday because I know he will outgrow his cute voice soon.
But he also poops in his pants most days. So at other times, I celebrate this process.
When I am in the midst of a really hard season of motherhood (hello, opinionated nine year old), it is hard to remember that seasons change.
But they do. They always do.
The whole poop issue does not phase me 1% because I had another child who did the same thing…until one day he didn’t. As gross as it is, I know it won’t last forever.
But it’s still really hard to remember.
When I had a little infant, I thought I may never sleep again. (But now I do.)
When I had a terrorist of a toddler, I thought public outings would always be humiliating. (They sometimes still are.)
When my kids started school, I thought they would never learn to read. (Somehow with the lamest homeschool mom ever, they still have.)
When my oldest son entered the tween phase, I called my BFF whose boys are a little older and said, “Tell me I will survive this.” (I knew she had the perspective I didn’t.)
Raising little humans is so hard. And just when you think you have it under control, they enter a new phase. Because there’s no way children will let you start thinking that you’re a confident mom.
Fortunately for us (and for the advancement of society), every hard season also comes with a large dose of awesome.
There is nothing harder than the exhaustion of an infant. But nothing sweeter.
There is nothing more frustrating than a toddler. But seriously nothing cuter.
And then you get a break for a few years where kids are generally fun and so cute…but with a random weird tantrum here and there, for posterity’s sake, I guess.
The tween phase is not quite so cute. But for the first time, deep conversations about real life happen.
And in my opinion (I’ve had a tween for like a day, so don’t put too much stock in my opinions), these amazing conversations are the reward for all of the hard.
It’s like you can get a glimpse of assurance that what you’ve worked so hard for in diligently raising kids is finally coming to fruition.
And odds are looking favorable that they’re not headed for a lifetime of booger picking, soiled underwear, and terrorism that seemed inevitable when they were three.
I don’t know what season of life you find yourself in.
Maybe things are going great. Enjoy! Soak up the awesome.
Maybe things aren’t so great.
Maybe you’re questioning if you’re really cut out for this parenting gig and want to give up some days.
Maybe you aren’t sure if your marriage is going to survive your colicky newborn and extremely needy toddler.
Maybe this is a lot harder than you ever imagined.
I wish I had some magical formula to take the hard away, but I do have the experience to tell you seasons change. They always do.
Babies grow up.
Toddlers learn they don’t have to loudly emote every feeling they have.
Tweens eventually stop arguing every little point. At least this is what my BFF tells me. I haven’t lived to tell about it.
You will make it through. I will make it through. Every season will change.
The hardest seasons eventually make for the best stories.
And the best stories encourage the moms that come after you that they, too, will survive.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.”
– Ecclesiastes 3:1