When I was a little girl, I listened to a sermon for children on being content. One of the illustrations was a simple story of a little girl who spent her life wishing she was a little older. When she was a grown up, she realized that she had wished her life away. This illustration stayed with me and continued to challenge me as I grew older.
I mentioned to a friend today that sometimes we mothers do the same thing, but in wanting our children to stay young. “Why don’t you stop growing?” we tease (but sometimes not really teasing). We shed tears at each new milestone. We miss the days of old when our children were cute and their problems easy (apologies for mothers of newborns!). While feeling a bit of sadness as our children grow is probably normal and common, sometimes we allow our joy in the past to destroy the joy of the present and the future.
Perhaps we can effectively communicate our delight with the state of our child– not longing for the years when we can have conversations longer than two or three words. Not wishing for greater understanding of spiritual truths. Not impatient with childishness that actually is consistent with our children’s ages!
May we truly love and enjoy our children, at peace with their level of maturity, patient with their weaknesses, gently guiding them and teaching them the skills and knowledge they need, showing the a good example of a life of faith, confident that the God who created our children did not make any mistake, either in our children or in giving them to us. May we be humble to come before our Savior for the grace we need to control our spirits as we walk beside them, being thankful for the past, and rejoicing in things to come.
With these thoughts in mind, as my son shows me how much his feet have grown in the last year, I smile and say “Pretty soon you’ll be a man!” His chuckle tells me that this time, I got the balance just right.