Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Sunrise, Sunset!

Is this the little girl I carried?
Is this the little boy at play?
I don't remember growing older
When did they?
When did she get to be a beauty?
When did he grow to be so tall?
Wasn't it yesterday
When they were small?

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly flow the days
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears.

Cue the waterworks!  That song gets me every time!  My eldest daughter is in a production of Fiddler on the Roof, and I have been humming this song ever since she was cast in it.  
"One season following another, laden with happiness and tears"  --- how true for us as parents!  Each season flows into the next, each full of its own joys and angst.  And before long, the children are on the brink of moving out.  Swiftly flow the days, to be sure!

This is a beautiful time of motherhood for me.  I have a foot in just about all arenas of child-rearing. . .young children, intermediate, middle school and high school.  And it's fabulous.  I get to hold hands with some and hear exuberant proclamations of love, my face wet with sloppy kisses.   I get to enjoy gasping laughter and deep talks with my teenagers. In between those two extremes is everything else - earnest and heartfelt prayers at bedtime, probing questions about life and faith, and quick hugs before friends see.

When we started having children and knew we wanted a big family, sometimes I felt overwhelmed.  How would I mother five little children, I would think? How would I physically be able to do it? Then I would remember that they grow up, and I wouldn't have five three-year-olds at once.  And for me, precisely that has been an unexpected joy in parenting many children.  The spread of ages brings such a diversity to our home - something I had never thought of before we started our family.  The younger children shape the older ones, and the older ones nurture the younger ones.  It's a blessing to see unfold.
Tonight in a small group I was in, we all wrote brief notes of affirmation to our children.  I wrote a short note, then made an acrostic poem for each one with their names.  I shared them all with the kids when we got home, and in the brief few minutes we had during potty/teeth/jammies, my 9-year-old son wrote a poem for me and presented it to me at bedtime prayers.  Here it is:

M  ost awesome (except God)
O  utstandingly awesome
M  ost valuable (except God)

One season following another, laden with happiness and tears.  Indeed.

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