Here I sit in my red plaid nightgown on the verge of Spring, sipping morning coffee with my gluten free toast. The house is quiet, so quiet you can hear it. There’s no noise coming from the Sesame Street people who reside in the 38 year old house that sits on the floor by the couch. No one is banging into the wall in the miniature rockers by the picture window. The marble track is completely at peace with itself and all of a sudden I’m wandering down Memory Lane in my nightgown!
How often do you hear the well intentioned old ladies in the mall telling you, “Treasure this time, it goes so fast.” “One day you’ll wish you had this time back again.” “It won’t be long and they’ll be grown.”
I’ve heard these remarks.
I’ve made these remarks!
But at the time, when there’s a screaming child trying to escape the stroller in a crowded mall, or pulling on the tee shirt of a complete stranger’s child in the playground, knocking him to the ground, it’s irrelevant. It really does nothing to diffuse the situation.
Why do we say those things? The white haired wonders of the world think somehow this helps you to cope with the drama, but it doesn’t. It just adds one more layer of frustration to an already difficult situation. It’s not our intention to make a tension charged drama even worse. I think we just want to identify with you, remembering that we’ve been there and now our mini rockers are no longer bumping the wall and our floors are not littered with toys to trip over, food to retrieve before the ants do, and children to separate from the indelible markers. But we were there, and just like you often times vacillating between pulling our hair out and hugging them ever so tightly to let them know how much we love them.
Mothering is not for wimps! We ought to have Superman equipment at our disposal at all times. Where is our telephone booth and our cape when we need it? Somehow Lois Lane and Clark Kent are nowhere to be found when all you can hear is the bickering, or the crying, or the spilling.
I have to laugh (now) as I recall hearing something pouring in the dining room. My second thought was, there’s no faucet in there, that sound is coming from the dining room not the kitchen. As I rounded the corner from the living room, there perched precariously on the edge of the table, sat my sweet blond two year old, happily pouring a half gallon of milk to the floor - just because she could.
It’s really true, however, though you think sometimes you won’t make it through to the next day, you do. And His grace is new every morning, every single morning. I remember so vividly a dear saint, Aunt Esther, praying so often, “As our day, so shall our strength be.” The older I get, the more meaning that holds. We only have grace for this moment. As Corrie ten Boom said in her book, “The Hiding Place”, you don’t get grace to put in a suitcase for later. It only comes as you need it.
Forgive the white haired wonders who unintentionally step on your toes by reminding you of how quickly life passes. Rather, thank them - if only in your heart - for the reminder. Take a deep breath, get perspective and remember they are, “...a gift from God” loaned to just the right mama.