Monday, August 19, 2013

An open letter to my immature self

You are impatient with tending these littles and all the myriad needs they have and you are constantly planning for when you will have more uninterrupted time to pursue all those books, hobbies and interests that you can only dabble in right now.  You think that once they are grown, most of your work will be done and you will be satisfied.

You are wrong. Seriously wrong and very mistaken.  

You will long for one more time to help someone at the potty who is so busy chattering and gesturing with her beautiful little hands that she momentarily loses her balances as she struggles to pull up her underpants and shorts at the same time.  You will not sigh and bend down with impatience in your voice and eyes rolling on your face.  You will with delight on your face and joy in your voice, offer to help while listening with rapt attention to what she is describing.  And you will remember all those times when she responded to your hug and kiss and whispers of love with her own clearly pronounced, "I love you, Mommy," and a sweet smile that made you want to freeze that moment forever.

And when you remember all the times that you picked up her older sister from her crib and carried her all the way up the basement stairs because even though she was growing bigger at five and a half, she was still little for her age, you will remember you didn't really mind the extra lugging.  And you will be glad that she wanted to learn how to do things just like you, so now is the time to hold your tongue and not give way to the frustration over the extra time and work that her efforts will cause you.  She won't always be limited to five words and a few sounds.  She is listening and watching. Get it right before she proves how long she was learning and reminds you by her imitation of all the ways in which you failed to show kindness and gentleness.

Find ways to give them the time that you both need together.  Others are sending their babies off to college and bridal showers, you will have your turn to cry and wish them back.  Don't be so shortsighted, look ahead, listen to what others who are ahead of you are saying.  This does not last forever, it goes by too quick they all say and your exclusive time with them will be over.  

He will not always be available to read to; take full advantage of this time at home together. Others will be calling and wanting his time and soon it will be right for him to go whenever he wants.  Be generous with his faults, he can only grow up so much at a time.  Praise him and put your arms around him as often as he permits.  He needs to know that he is loved beyond his understanding. Enjoy the stories together and watch carefully the ones he chooses to read again and again.  Ask him to tell you his favorite parts.  And tell him yours.  Those will be the moments you can share again and again for as long as you both remember.

You will forget you thought this so I have written it down to remind you.  If you pay attention now, you will not regret the way you spent your time with them.  Trust me, you will not.  So grow up already, before they do and you will be glad that you did.

1 comment:

  1. Heather,
    What a beautiful letter.

    I was just recently marveling at the fact that this kind of mothering: choosing to love, laying down our lives (and our desires and the time to do what we might like to do)- any of it we DO do is all by the grace of God. Every bit of selflessness on our part is only and all due to His work in and through us. I am thankful He doesn't leave us to ourselves, but that He is continually refining and maturing us and growing us in love.



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