– James Dobson
When I was a little girl my dream job then was to be a wife and mommy. My Barbies knew it as well as my Madam Alexander doll. They received it and believed it. When I would play pretend my favorite pretend character was a mom. Close behind that was a school teacher complete with a chalkboard, a lesson plan book, and a grade book filled with made-up names and grades. My number one dream, though, was to be a mommy.
In both scenarios, discipline issues were swift and firm with the recipients (baby dolls and imaginary students) never talking back and always apologizing for their misdemeanors.
For fun I would load up my red wagon with my dolls and their necessities (blankets, changes of clothes, bottles, and diapers) and go round and round the yard pulling the wagon through all kinds of pretend adventures.
Life was good.
I have been very blessed and fortunate to be able to have my dream job. I have learned through my years as a real mom with real boys to rear, that real babies grow into toddlers then school-age children followed by adolescents and then teenagers. Now I am a mom of an adult son and one teenage son. Gosh. I type this with a lump in my throat and tears stinging my eyes.
Where did all the time go?
When I was a new and younger mom carting Robert and David through Lewis Jones’ grocery store for our weekly trek, repeatedly someone older and wiser would stop me and say something like, “What aisle can I get me one of those on?” They would say and smile as they wanted so badly to rub my babies’ heads. Invariably, the most common comment I have ever heard from people was this one, “Enjoy the time you have them with you. It goes by so fast. You blink and they’re all grown up.” Usually a teary-eyed mom would make that comment as she strolled through the store picking up items for two or just herself as her house had emptied out of its brood over the years.
I shrugged that comment off and thought to myself, “I think I’ll be making formula and changing diapers forever…”
Sadly, those who were brave to speak such wisdom to one so naive were absolutely right.
As I contemplated being able to scoot away for the weekend ahead of the men in the house to ready our place in the mountains for their arrival, I grew very anxious. The three guys were trying to sort through all they needed to do over the next couple of days before leaving for the mountains. It became obvious to me that my place was to hang around town and help them get it all done. There were so many things that needed to be done here and just a few things there. Also, by going ahead of them, I would miss valuable car time and conversations with them.
Admittedly, when I realized I needed to stay home and go up with them, I got my nose out of joint and was a bit grumpy to Rob this morning as a result. I was being selfish. Don’t get me wrong, there are times when everybody needs to get away from responsibilities for solitude (even if for 2 seconds on the toilet….that’s for some younger mom reading this).
You see, I have come to realize that motherhood is more than rearing children. It’s also time for God to grow us moms up and develop that fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control) in us through moments of practicing dying to self. In my frustration to not be able to go ahead of the gang, I was not being willing to die to my wants for Amy. As soon as I realized what I was doing and how sinful that was I realized I needed to repent of it and change my mind on the matter and grow up for 24 hours and do what I recognize God was telling me to do in that time. Once that happened, I had a tremendous sense of being unstressed. My leaving was actually going to complicate things back home. I was (and am) needed around this place!
Robert and David have seen me get some things right and plenty of things wrong. Hopefully, they will focus on the good and right things and not be too traumatized by the other. Some of the greatest lessons that God has taught me have come as a result of being a mom.
As I often think about my own growth and maturity (and lack thereof at times) through my experience with motherhood I realize it is still about bonding within a tighter community under one roof day after day and year after year. Joyously, my boys are of the family of Christ and so we are also siblings in Christ. Eventually, that parenthood title shifts a bit as the relationship dynamics transform from that of parent to child and goes to adult to adult.
With all that said, if you are able this weekend, hug your mom. If you have children, hug them tight. If you have neither, hug somebody’s mom this weekend. Hug her children if they’re nearby at the time.
We moms have a calling. Some days we stink at it. Other days we rejoice over not tossing the broken lego thingy out the car window like we’ve threatened to do a thousand times if it breaks again (guilty of threatening and tossing…it wasn’t pretty…the incident, I mean).
We have a calling to help others grow up. We have a calling to grow up as well. Most of all, we have a calling to lead them to Christ. Lead them well in partnership with your husband. If their dad is no longer around, lead them the best you can one second at a time.
Time flies. They won’t be little for long. I know that now.