So often I have been encouraged by older women to really appreciate these years when my children are small. I often mentally scoffed, thinking about how nice it would be when they grew up. Most of the time the days seemed to grind by with one crises or the endless tasks that come hand in hand with motherhood. Some days are good and some are bad but all are busy! The last year, however, my perspective has changed. Part of it is because I have an almost 16 year old daughter and when I look at her I think "She grew up so fast, how fast will my other three grow up?".
It made me suddenly cherish these moments when they are still little. When they still come to me with their hearts open and I can show them the beauty of this world we live in. I love children and the world would be much less fun and exciting without them in it. Every day is a new and wonderful adventure with a child. The first snowfall of winter, a butterfly floating on the breeze, kittens, rainbows, bubbles. All these mundane things to an adult are miracles to a child, and they share their wonder with us. It is a great gift.
I went to have my youngest son registered for kindergarten today. As school age has approached I have realized that a huge chapter of my life is now going to be over. I have had babies and toddlers in my home for 15 years. Now I will be a stay at home mom with no Little's around! Part of me is excited because I have lots of plans, but another part is terribly sad.
Mothers take this moment to remember how very short of a time you will be the world to your children. That soon the babies grow up and the chubby hands and wet kisses will be gone. One of my favorite book series are the Anne of Green Gables. Once Anne is grown the books are a beautiful look at motherhood and reading them uplifts me. Two of the most poignant quotes are below.
Anne stooped repentantly, gloatingly over them. They were still hers . . . wholly hers, to mother and love and protect. They still came to her with every love and grief of their little hearts. For a few years longer they would be hers . . . and then? Anne shivered. Motherhood was very sweet . . . but very terrible.
~ Anne of Ingleside, [ch. 31; pp. 194]
Dear God, . . . help all mothers everywhere. We need so much help, with the little sensitive, loving hearts and minds that look to us for guidance and love and understanding.
~ Anne of Ingleside, [ch. 6; pp. 33]
My Baby Went To School Today
Somehow the sunlit world is gray
A small boy went to school today.
So often in these last few years
Of healing hurts
And drying tears…
Of picking playthings off the floor…
Of running often to the door,
To see if he were safe at play,
The awful fear that he might stray
On eager, fearless baby feet
Into the crowded city street.
One thought has been a placid pool.. .
He’ll soon be old enough for school.
He was old enough today,
Yet all the sunlit world is gray.
So soon my rooms grow orderly,
With no small boy to bother me.
But quiet rooms are lonely things
When in their walls no small boy sings.
A quiet yard’s a lonely place,
When it has known a small boy’s face.
Today he joined the world of men.. .
He’ll not be wholly mine again.
Today he braved life’s rise and fall..
Dear Lord, he seems so very small!
Somehow the sunlit world is gray…
My baby went to school today.
My Hands were Busy
My hands were busy through the day
I didn't have much time to play
The little games you asked me to,
I didn't have much time for you.
I'd wash your clothes,
I'd sew and cook,
But when you'd bring your picture book
And asked me please to share your fun,
I'd say, "A little later son."
I'd tuck you in all safe at night
And hear your prayers, turn out the light,
Then tiptoe softly to the door...
I wish I'd stayed a minute more.
For life is short, the years rush past.
A little boy grows up so fast.
No longer is he at your side,
His precious secrets to confide.
The picture books are put away,
There are no longer games to play.
No good-night kisses, no prayers to hear;
That all belongs to yesteryear.
My hands, once busy, now are still
The days are long and hard to fill.
I wish I could go back to do
The little things you asked me to.