Things settle down a bit, and a lady (sans kids) comes up to me, “I just want to say I’ve been there”. I nod, unsure of what to say.
“This time goes by so quickly, mine are fifteen and twelve, and I can’t believe it! I really miss this time.”
“That’s what I hear!” I answer. If I could have given her an eye roll, without being rude…I would have.
She says goodbye with a smile on her face and look of nostalgia.
I’m a bit stunned. YOU MISS THIS?! You miss having to try to manage chaos while dozens stand around and watch? You miss being constantly needed? You miss the sleepless nights and the difficult, draining days?
Yet, something inside of me knows she is right.
I need to savor these moments.
Hours later, just miles away, a friend lost her baby boy. A big boy, really. He was almost three.
We just saw him at the library today.
We sang ring-around-the-rosie together.
I told him I liked his cowboy boots.
He stayed close to his mommy most Wednesdays during story time. He loved to sit in her lap.
That image of him sitting, content in his mommy’s lap, worn-out cowboy boots pointed at the ceiling is forever burned in my mind.
You could see he knew that he was loved.
Lord, forgive me for the many, many moments I have wished away and wasted.
They are gifts you have given and I don’t want to take one second for granted.
Give me the grace and strength to say yes to my sweet ones when I hear “Mommy, can you come play with me?”
Help me to linger long and make the most of each day I have to spend with my children.
Will you say a quick prayer for this sweet family? God knows exactly what they need.