Moms of Littles--There's Good Stuff Coming

9:44 AMHeather

It struck me yesterday, somewhere in between putting away new dishes given to me by my in-laws and borrowing car seats for the littles whom I will see today while on a layover at DFW Airport.

I just have to tell you what is burning on my heart.

Moms of Littles--there is good stuff coming.

I grabbed those car seats off the porches of generous friends, and I remembered the days of buckling my brood in.  The days of feeling the back ache and the frustration of having to buckle each child in. Every squirmy fussy toddler with their own agenda. Hoisting them into the mini-van, worn out and tired and ragged around the edges. Fighting against them as I buckled them in.  Telling the other one to STAND THERE until I could get his brother buckled in first. Eventually, while also holding a baby on my hip whom I would sometimes place on the nasty dirty cheerios-covered floor of the van.

So much work to go anywhere.  Maybe we should just stay home until they were all old enough to buckle themselves in?  Because what mom can actually enjoy an outing that requires 37 minutes of car seat buckling on either end of the journey, and approximately 17 verses of Wheels on the Bus while handing back snacks to a little during the drive time?

Oh, yes, moms of littles.  There's good stuff coming. 

Because here is the truth of it at my house. That one who I told to STAND THERE just a minute ago--he called out to me in his deep man voice that he was leaving for his soccer game.  And then he did the unthinkable.

He took the car keys and drove his tiny baby self to his own soccer game.

And the one whom I wrestled into his car seat.  He stands taller than me and nearly my husband. He starts high school in the fall. His man shoes still startle me. Because weren't they JUST the cute and tiny little tennis shoes I was trying to convince him to not pull off in the car and throw over his shoulder while I was driving?

The poor baby of the family who spent some time lying in cheerio dust and debris...I had to sign her consent form for her tour of the middle school next week.

The grass is always greener.

Because when they were little, I couldn't wait for them to get bigger.  And outgrow some things.  And learn to buckle themselves.

Now that they are big, I am wistful and sentimental and nostalgic about the time they were littles. 

And my heart feels as though it is swelling with pride and breaking with heartache all at the same time. Oh, and throw in some "joys" of raising bigger kids there, too. Because their toy phones become real phones, and their playgrounds become bigger, as do their hurts and struggles.  And Jesus band-aids no longer fix a boo-boo.  (Bit of explanation--I was once given a box of bandaids with a picture of Jesus on each one and the words "Jesus heals" on them.  My kids loved them). 

But there's good stuff coming.

In every season.  At every stage.

Because while I was thinking back to my car seat days, I was placing some pretty REAL dishes in my cabinets.  And realizing that we can all eat off real plates.  For real plates, y'all.  Not some Dora the Explorer plastic business with cute little compartments like a lunch tray. But we can sit around our kitchen table with for real plates and have hysterical dinner time conversation where my kids engage in truly interesting topics and offer their own thoughts and opinions.  And then we cannot make a mutually agreed upon decision so we write the options on slips of paper, and place them all around our dog while we tell him to sit.  We all five agree that whichever slip of paper he goes to, that will be our final decision.

And we laugh.

We laugh at these dumb things.  And they are the glue.  They are the memories we share and the inside jokes among us.  They are the building blocks of our family, built year by year.  Moment by moment.

As we sit around a table and eat off of real plates. 

Moms of littles--there's good stuff coming.

When your teenage son allows you to hold onto his arm and walk with him in front of all his friends.  And you think, "Oh, yeah. I've still got it." 

When your other teenage son listens to your work dilemma, with interest and concern, and then offers his advice. And you think, "He was listening.  All along." 

And your fifth grade daughter expresses how she and another friend have agreed to try to share Jesus with a girl in their classroom. And you think, "Oh, Lord.  Be still my heart!"

Moms of littles--there's good stuff coming.

Not easy stuff.  Not a walk in the park.  EVER. Because we never stop being moms.  We never stop worrying and fretting and wondering how things will turn out.  EVER. Until my dying breath. Part of my heart will always walk around outside my body in these three kids of mine.

But there's good stuff coming.

And in every stage.  At every age.  In all the mess and chaos and struggles and tears and impossibly hard days of mothering.  

There's always good stuff.

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