The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever." Isaiah 40:8
Time is marching on. I will be 60 years old in a couple of months. I am finally acknowledging that I am indeed getting older. Am I elderly? I didn't like that idea, so I googled "elderly" the other day. According to the internet, I have five more years until I am considered such...that doesn't mean, though, that the young lady at McDonalds the other day didn't offered me the senior citizens discount. I firmly believe that senior citizen discounts should NOT be offered, they should be asked for. I guess it's vanity, but I would rather believe I still look too young for one of those. And the crummy thing was that, according to McDonalds, who caters to the very young set, I WAS eligible for it!
Which brings me to the reason I am writing this blog this early morning. It's not just me that is getting older and moving into a new stage of life. My children are moving right along with me. They are ALL growing up now. I've been a mom for 38 years. With birth, fostering and adopting, it's been rare that there has not been a baby in my house for most of those years. But now, there's not. And I'm thinking, the way my back feels and my bones ache, that likely, except for grandchildren, that part of my life is probably over. I hung onto it for about twenty years longer than most of my friends. I have loved raising children so much. And I'm not completely done yet. It's just that it seems the baby part is over.
My youngest child is six years old, and growing quickly. Recently, I have realized that having a child who thinks I can do no wrong, and is so dependent on me is fast coming to an end. It's funny what can bring you to that realization, although it has been at the back of my mind for a while.
We went to Legoland with our homeschool group. I don't take my children to places like that very often, so I decided to go ahead and spent the massive amount of money for seven of us to attend - mainly because we were getting a group discount, which barely made if affordable. Later, Angel-Leah grabbed my cell phone and went through the pictures, and then hotly declared that the only people I took pictures of were Mary Susannah, Cynthia and Tommy.
"Mary Susannah and Cynthia confiscated my phone and took pictures of themselves!" I defended myself. "And the rest of you ran away, and Tommy was the only one who wanted to hang out with me!"
And it hit me how true that was. Even Selah, who is only a year older than Tommy, spent her time with big sister Angel-Leah. I think, though, Legoland was too big and too loud for Tommy to feel like Luke could take care of him. So he opted to spend the day with me.
We took selfies on the airplane that I had to peddle like mad to keep up in the air:
And I caught him in a picture while he was trying to catch criminals:
It was a long day, but very fun. As Tommy said once when he could barely talk: "Me (Tommy) and Mommy, on a team!"
Yesterday, we pulled up in the parking lot of our homeschool co op. I walked around the back of the car and opened the hatch. Big and little kids grabbed their things and ran off to the door, leaving me standing there alone - except for Tommy. He stood chattering away, waiting for me. I smiled at him and remembered Legoland. Me and Tommy, on a team. We walked into the church building together. Later, at lunchtime, my kids ran to find their friends, not acknowledging me at all, except for Tommy, who also ran to sit with his friends, except that he glanced back, just making sure mommy was there. And I was.
I guess what this mommy, who was been mothering for nearly 40 years and has 12 children, wants to leave with you this morning is just this:
They grow up. Even when you have 12 children, eventually, the time of having little ones is going to end. Those sleepless nights, those clingy days when you get nothing done except rocking the baby, the messy house, the diapers, the nursing...
It ends. They get married. They go to college. They might even move off to Viet Nam.
And all you have is the memories.
And no one left to take selfies on the airplane with. In fact, you don't even get on the airplane anymore - unless your grandchild wants you too. Which is good, too!
Enjoy them. It so fleeting.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8