Friday, May 24, 2013

Raising My Garden of Children

Another school year is coming to a close. Normally I'm excited too usher in the summer, as it means having my kids nearby so we can try playing in the warmer weather.

This year feels rather bittersweet, however, as I am realizing just how quickly my children have grown. Starting next year one will be in high school, one in middle school, and the other two still in elementary.

I know it was bound to happen. After all, I'm no longer wearing diapers. Still, today my reality of raising a family boils down to this: it is so fleeting. I can still recall bringing home my daughter from the hospital, so shocked and amazed something that beautiful lived inside of me. Now she's talking of getting a summer job, what she wants to be when she grows up, what college she'd like to attend, if she'll go on a mission, and what sort of a mom she hopes to be. I think about how old she is and suddenly I want to stick her back on my lap and rock her to sleep. She could accomplish all of this in the next five years!

I had to drop J off at school early this morning as he needed finish up a report. He gave me a quick hug before heading off along the school lawn and all I could do was watch. Watch and sit in awe at the amazing young man he's become. I recalled how often his dad and I despaired thinking he'd struggle with school his whole life because he couldn't sit still long enough in class to get anything done. Yet there he was, taking responsibility for his work by getting to school early so he might attain a good grade. He has become so dependable and dedicated, which at times boggles my mind. J, above any of the kids, is our reader. He will gobble up a book in no time flat.

It never occurred to me that Mr. B wouldn't do well in school. What has surprised me is to know he's not still in preschool, my baby-faced partner in crime who never wanted to leave home and would only leave my side because I gave him a key chain with a picture of the two of us in it. Now he's riding his bike all over the place, more excited to be with friends than at home. He's excelling in many things and loves to torture his siblings. He'd definitely still rather be at home than at school, but only if he has a brother or sister to keep him entertained (I'm not quite enough any more).

And then there's this blue-eyed beauty. She absolutely takes my breath away - partly because she never stops talking. I remember not being sure if I was ready to have one more child. Our other kids were growing up, we were able to do an awful lot now that diaper bags and infant car seats were no longer a part of the mix. Yet how could life have been worth it without this little bundle of rowdy, chattering joy? Her birthday comes late in the school year, and I worried she might not be able to handle the social aspect of being in school (she's not quite queen bee there as she tries to be at home). Not only has she been an amazing influence on the other children around her, but she has excelled intellectually as well. Her mind knows no bounds and she almost reads better than many kids several years older. There is no doubt in my mind she needed to come when she did, and that she was prepared for life as the youngest with a feisty will and an attitude that knows no bounds.

These are my flowers in the garden of our home. At times I feel as though the world is passing me by, especially when I see the grand accomplishments of others around me. When I begin to wonder "what could have been" I am promptly reminded by the Holy Spirit that I am doing precisely what the Lord needs me to do in the here and now: raise these little (and not so little) ones to not only shine and blossom and allow others to enjoy their beauty, but to make certain they are strong enough to withstand the storms and droughts of life. At times they may wither, and for a winter's season they may hide away, but there is always a spring just around the corner and the promise of newer, more beautiful ways to bloom.

1 comment:

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