As I rounded the corner of the diaper aisle at the store, I saw a young couple filling their cart with diaper products. I silently celebrated how wonderful it was I wasn’t filling my cart with the same. I’ve past the diaper season of parenting (of which I often thought might never end) and survived. Barely. I’m still suffering the trauma from one child who, let’s just say, got our money’s worth out of each Pamper. He aimed at filling each one with the weight suggestion on the box. Most days he succeeded.
I debated over pointing at the couple and shouting, “Suckers!” while having a good laugh and joy riding the cart past like the mature inner woman I am, or hugging them while whispering a warning to not blink; because if they do blink, the season will be over and they will miss all the precious moments that come with it. Ultimately, I opted to smile at them and pushed my cart onward.
In the few days our Christmas tree has been up, I’ve picked up countless ornaments that have been knocked off from brotherly battles and giant plush pythons that mysteriously climb the tree while disregarding their bodies in space. My boys even emptied their entire underwear drawers and placed each pair on the tree as ornaments. To their credit, each one was strategically placed on different branches. I was impressed they weren’t all clumped on one sprig of evergreen. We’ve improved since last Christmas. Sure, it was a mess, but it was cute. Super cute. Plus they were naked, so there’s that. I realize that when I blink, the ornaments won’t be piled on the floor and underwear won’t be on the tree. The house will be quiet, and my boys will be on to bigger boy things that don’t need Mom as much. It will be great, and it will be painfully sad. As time flows through the hourglass, so do the days of motherhood. We blink, and the seasons are gone.
It’s bittersweet, this raising children gig. It’s hard work. It’s exhausting work. It’s the stuff that stretches us in every way possible, Stretch Armstrong style. But the seasons don’t last long. The hard ones go by fast in the grand scheme of it all, even though the seconds of it sometimes drag by. The precious ones go even faster. Can I be honest? If I’m not careful, I get so busy looking forward to the next season, the next goal, or the next milestone, I sometimes miss out on the beautiful parts of the season I’m in. And then, poof, the season is gone.
Are you in a tough season right now? Hang in there. Seasons always change. Are you in an easy season right now? Enjoy it. Seasons don’t last forever. Can we enjoy the moment we are in today for all it’s worth? Can we bask in it, survive it, and not rush on to the next thing? May we relish the day we are in, the gift the Lord gives us today, and be thankful for what it holds. Tomorrow will be here soon enough. We will blink, it will be knocking at the door, and yesterday will be gone.
Photo Credit- Liam Welch http://www.unsplash.com