I still think of myself as the mother of little ones, short people as we have often referred to our "B Team". And no, that's not a disparaging term around here...it's just always been a way to distinguish our older three, the "A Team" from the younger 6 who were born after seven years of what The Papa claims as "bad luck."
But I digress.
I'm wondering when I went from mother of little ones to keeper of a house full of young adults. No, not all of them...my Baby Prince is turning 14 this fall and the other "short boy", now over six feet tall, will turn 16 a few days later. But the dynamic of the house has unmistakably changed in the years we've lived here and sometimes it seems that it must have happened one night while I was asleep. I woke up and we had more drivers than cars to drive!
For years, one of my biggest dilemmas was, "How do I keep school going for the big kids while trying to entertain a preschooler, clean up after a toddler, and keep the baby asleep?" So what month did that become, "How do I keep school going for the younger ones while trying to keep track of work, music, church, babysitting, and entertainment schedules for all the post-high school kids and make sure they all have a car at the hour they need one?"
I know. It happened slowly. But since it's documented scientific fact that time compresses after you reach 40 and life really does speed up, I'm sure I'm on solid ground when I shout, "SLOOOOW DOOOOOWN!"
So how do I really feel about all this?
I love it. Maybe I love it because we really did enjoy every day with the little ones and squeezed all the life out of those years that we could. Maybe I love it because the now grown- and almost-grownups can do more for themselves and can help me take care of things around here. But maybe I love it just because I enjoy the companionship of my young adult household much more than I ever expected to. I guess I heard too many horror stories about the teen years and beyond, and although I never quite believed them all, I don't think I looked forward to these years as much as I might have if I'd heard a few glowing reports from the road ahead.
Which brings me to my reason for putting this on cyber-paper tonight. Yes, enjoy every moment of your children's early years. Yes, they go all too fast. Yes, you'll look back with a longing for those little feet and big belly laughs. But you're also headed TOWARD a lot of joy. Don't let what you see and hear in the world around you cause you to dread the years that you've worked so hard for. If you're raising your kids to honor and serve the Father, to respect you and to love and enjoy their siblings, you have the best years ahead of you. One day, you'll wake up and all your kids will be taller than you are and you're trying to find their Social Security cards and there won't be any sets of car keys left and you're gonna wonder when it happened.
And you're gonna love it.