All of my children are back in school today and I have some thoughts and feelings that I want to articulate in this post. I hope you’ll indulge me getting a little personal as I reflect on this back-to-school day.
Mothering young children is all consuming and physically exhausting. I remember those years with little hands making messes everywhere and clinging to me for every need. I wiped away tears, and helped them clean up their messes. I could solve most every problem, and usually make everything “better” that was amiss in their little lives.
In the middle of those years I remember feeling like things would get easier once this one was done with teething, or that one was finally potty trained, or this one was finally in school all day. I was anticipating my children getting bigger and more independent with eagerness as I thought it would relieve much of the pressure heaped on me. Too often I did not relish the moments as I should have. I don’t think I’m unique in this at all, but now I wish I would have been more content with all my little ones firmly under my wing.
I guess I’m waxing sentimental as I’m about to see my first born navigate her way through her senior year of high school. I’m going to do my best not to stress about the all the things I won’t be able to fix. I am her mother, but my responsibilities in assisting her are changing. I need to teach her how to be independent and stand on her own, and yet be there to give support and love. She is embarking on adulthood and I’m nervous to send my “guinea pig” out into the world in less than a year. I don’t have much more time to teach her the things she’ll need to know. I will be sure to enjoy this year to the fullest I can. Time cannot be called back, and experience is a great teacher. I hope I’ve learned the lesson well.
Motherhood is a wonderful and beautiful, albeit difficult journey. No matter where you are on the path, please stop and smell the roses! Look around you and take in the marvelous scene and notice the blessing in every day, no matter how trying and rugged the terrain. The newborn baby placed into your arms is destined to go from being completely dependent on you for everything, to a young child who grows more independent, to a teenager crossing the chasm from childhood into adulthood. And you will be there to watch with awe and sometimes trepidation. Find joy in every stage, but remember your child needs you! They need your love no matter how young or old.
So, if you are sending off children to school, don’t just take a pic with your phone to post on Facebook or Instagram, but also take a picture with your heart. My mama heart is full with pictures today as I realize how tremendously blessed I am.