They’re home! My family is all together again! And yes, I am smiling!
Two weeks ago, Addy went off to visit her cousins for several days. I really missed her! Then the boys were gone to camp all last week. I missed them, too! But even as I was missing them, I thought back to a time when I didn’t expect to feel that way….
It was more than eleven years ago. Our firstborn was almost old enough to start school, and we’d been examining our options. I’d become convinced that homeschooling was the way I wanted to go. I’d read the research. I knew the advantages. But, I had one BIG hangup. One hurdle I wasn’t sure I could take. Can you guess what it was?
They’ll always be with me.
That’s what I couldn’t get over. Our first two were born just twenty months apart, and I remember vividly how HARD it was having two babies. I had consoled myself in the toughest times with this thought: This won’t last long. Before I know it, they’ll be off to school and I’ll be able to catch my breath again.
But now I was looking at the possibility that they wouldn’t be going OFF anywhere. That school would be here, which meant they’d be here…all the time. Which, in turn, meant there would be no going out shopping alone for me; no lunch dates out with friends; no actually being able to clean the house and have it stay that way for a few hours. On and on I went, trying to figure out whether I could handle always having the kids around.
Well, we took the plunge, and a funny thing happened. The more time I spent with my kids, the more I grew to like them. Not just to love them, but to really LIKE them. I enjoy them now. I like who they are. We have fun together. I treasure their uniqueness and their sweet personalities. I learn so much from them. I cherish our time together–it’s going by too fast! And yes, when they’re gone, I actually miss them.
I do enjoy getting a break sometimes. In fact, I need those breaks, and so do you! But it sure makes me sad to hear parents lamenting the coming of summer because their children will be home with them. It breaks my heart when I hear people complain about the approach of spring break, since they will have to spend–*gasp*–a whole week with their kids. Really? Are these not wonderful opportunities to enjoy the children that are growing up way too fast? Wouldn’t it be fun to actually get to know them as individuals?
Maybe our outlook only changes as we come to truly believe the psalmist’s words:
“Behold, children are a gift of the Lord.
The fruit of the womb is a reward.”
If you have children, I hope you cherish each moment with them today, recognizing them as His gifts to you. You just might be surprised how much you enjoy them!