“There’s something awe-inspiring & holy about the circle of life. Rarely an experience astonishes me more than watching my kids grow up & get to remember my own childhood along the way.”- qfl
I can’t describe with words how I felt when I recently watched my little girl turn five in her Montessori school with her parents, teachers & classmates all cheering while singing “Happy Birthday” & a big fat cake in front of her. It was probably due to the fact that it was in the same exact way I turned five in my Montessori school with my parents, teachers & classmates all cheering while singing “Happy Birthday” & a big fat cake in front of me! I remember it vividly (heck, I remember all of my birthdays since I was 5). I was wearing my usual blue jeans with a pink sweater tucked inside.
What a wonderful memory that was & to get to relive it through my daughter is astounding. An utter privilege to say the least! I couldn’t stop staring at her birthday cake without remembering mine; the carefree joy I felt to be getting older (I wish now time wouldn’t go so fast). Oh the irony! when I was a kid I couldn’t wait to grow up & feel “free” to do whatever I pleased… now that I’m older I discovered I was freer as a kid and therefore would like to go back (at least for a moment) & experience all the emotional freedom I used to have. Daunting, I know.
While witnessing my “little” girl’s delightful anticipation to get older my joy was insurmountable… but so was my anguish.
It’s a feeling I’ve been shunning away but fall helplessly prey of as I see my little one transform from a vulnerable little baby, to a precocious toddler, to an independent wannabe five-year-old girl. Try as I might, I cannot change the hands of time. And soon I have to face the fact that she is growing & never coming back to her former self. I can’t help but weep whenever I look at my children’s baby pictures & wonder: “Where are they?”…”I miss them!”…”Who took them away from me?”…
Silly, but true.
It’s hard for parents to catch up with this fact. We’re always caught off guard. We want our children to be self-sufficient yet we cling to the last thread of their constant need for us. I sometimes whisper to my three-year-old baby boy: “Please, don’t grow up” & he looks at me like I’m insane.
He who says parenting is easy, clearly is not a present parent (or a parent at all).
But when push comes to shove we’re always left with our memories. Come what may, we (parents) have our own ways to bottle all those sweet moments we’ve spent with our young’uns just to relive them once again. Thank you Picasa, Youtube, Shutterfly, Facebook, Flickr & the likes for making this transition less rugged.
As parents we become much more aware of our flaws as we fail to be the “perfect” individuals we want our children to be. But I’ve learned that this is a good thing, because we now cease to live in denial.
What I do is try my best (with a very good dose of common sense & a little reading)… pray, trust & expect things will turn out for the best, disregarding my expectations (Romans 8:28). Parenting, as life, is a trial & error journey. There’s nothing I’m more sure of than the knowledge that I cannot do it alone. I’d be nothing without the ever so present help of my Lord Jesus.
A note to my daughter on her 5th birthday:
Being a mom is not easy, this you’ll learn later in life if and when you choose to become a mom. There are those days when I dream of reading a book all day long without putting it down to glue a broken doll or wipe somebody else’s tooshie. Long days when I ask myself: “Am I doing it ok?” Because the on & off again feeling of being so far from the type of mother I want to be is appalling! or “Is it just in my head?” Who knows. Nevertheless, I cherish the good times, that – dare I say – are much much more frequent than the bad ones. I appreciate the way you apologize when you hurt my feelings & wrap your arms around me, I can tell it’s heartfelt…
I am proud of how you wake up every morning with a big smile & can’t wait to go to school (sure hope it lasts). I love when we talk about our feelings, wants, needs, hopes, desires, etc. like old friends (despite your age you have quite an impressive lexicon). I love you’re outgoing & curious nature, you’re always asking me questions to the point of exhaustion, but I always try to answer. It’s hard to keep up with how fast you absorb things & it’s always my duty to keep your imagination afloat.
I will always hold my arms wide open for you whenever you need a hug. Remember you can always come home. My love for you is endless but my power is limited. Your heavenly father who has your best interest at heart is limitless in love, patience & power. Seek Him with all your heart & you’ll never be disappointed (even though at times you might think so).