Friday, February 15, 2013

The Little Years

This week I held a friend's newborn baby.  All the beauty of new life wrapped up in pink.  Her tiny hands moved in slow motion and wrapped around my finger.  She slept in perfect peace.  Her newborn smell, the softest skin...there is nothing sweeter than a baby.

Then I looked over at my baby.  Walking and climbing and full of personality, he will turn one year old this month.  Where did my sweet newborn go?

Recently my husband and I made this growth chart for our children.

 

As I transferred their measurements to the new chart, I found myself holding back tears.  It was like watching them grow up all over again.

It was hard to remember my older ones when they only came up to my knee.  I looked at my little ones knowing that they are growing just as fast.

Every day the kids back up to the chart and measure each other to see how much they have grown in a day.  All I want to do is hold on tight and keep them little.

Yes, these days are long, but the years are flying by.

My husband and I do talk about the future.  We dream of the days when the children are independent and it's just us again.  But we also want to live fully in this moment.  These little years have been overflowing with joy and laughter.  They have kept us busy, running non-stop on little sleep.  But these years have taught us so much about ourselves and our love.

I know they will be over before we know it.  There is so much that I want to teach my children, so much I want for them.  I find myself scrambling, feeling like this precious time is slipping away.

But that's where I cling to grace.

I fail them.  I don't have the answers...or the patience.  I may run out of time before they fly.  But I'm holding on to God's promise that His grace is enough.

"All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children."  ~Isaiah 54:13


4 comments:

  1. I remember the baby days all too well and they were fun, exhausting, and fulfilling all in one! My baby is now 5 and we are in a new phase of life and loving every minute of it. I didn't want to ever be out of the baby stage, but now, I can't imagine going back. We have so much fun together as a family now, and can experience things we never could do when all five of them were little. It has been a joy to see the little people they are turning into! Each stage of life is such a blessing! Oh, and I've always wanted to make a growth chart like that, love it!!

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  2. Thanks Shannon! I think I needed to hear that. My heart is very torn between moving on and holding on to the baby stage. But, I know that every stage is special in it's own way. Thank you for the encouragement!

    The growth chart was super easy! I stained a board and used a Sharpie marker, then we sealed it.

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  3. Shannon, I know how you feel about relishing every moment. My two "babies" are 11 and 9. I look at how fast the time has gone and am terrified about how fast the next ten years will go and then they will be off on their own journeys in life. My husband and I keep talking about how to slow things down, not wish them away, cherish even the difficult days because at least they are still with us. I think it is the struggle of every parent.

    I do like your growth chart. We did a similar one. On ours we also put mine and my husband's height. The kids enjoy seeing how they are closing in on us as they get taller, and we figure that when we are elderly we can have proof of how tall we once were!

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  4. Oh yes, I feel this! I feel this every day. March is our big birthday month, with 3 birthdays in just 10 short days. I've been finding it hard to focus on this new baby's arrival (also during that time! eek!), and I think a large reason is that I don't want to wish away the time before these kids change ages. How is my youngest girl going to be 6? And that toddler boy, turning 4? That sounds so old! Mothering can feel like a daily heartbreak when we look at it that way. Thank God for his sufficient grace, and that He is the great comforter that we can turn to as our babies grow ever more independent. Lovely post!

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