i realize full well that i am only seeing part of the picture. only seeing one section of this grand tapestry God is weaving. i am limited. oh, so very limited. my human-ness and my frail-ness and my small-ness have this way of taking control of my emotions. my shortsighted view sees a family of six that will need to make adjustments to a new sister. it sees a two year old entering the picture where there hasn't been a two year old for a long time. the reality of emily graduating from her comfortable, well known elementary school, and preparing for a big, unknown high school is beginning to hit me lately. all of a sudden i see five children at five very different stages and i have to wonder where i will find the energy and creativity to pull us all together as a family of seven. i have this constant battle with time waging inside me. one part wants desperately to fast forward to the day rick and i will board a plane headed to china. i want to speed up the months which separate us from bella. i would like to step over them as if they were just a crack in the sidewalk which i need barely acknowledge. the other part is frantically searching for that elusive pause button on my family. emily heads off to high school in a matter of months...tyler, sarah elizabeth and connor grow and change before my very eyes. i just want to yell, "time out everyone!" or "freeze!" i want to walk around their little figures and memorize their expressions and their height and their width and their youth. i want to drink in who they are today, at this very moment...because tomorrow it will be different.
if i have learned one thing in my 14 years of mothering, it is that nothing lasts very long. we are in a constant flux of seasons and when i blink i am liable to miss years. it was just a few nights ago when sleep would not come that i got up in the early hours before dawn and went into the rooms of my sleeping children. i had a sudden and intense longing to see them. to watch the peace spread over them like a light blanket. i just wanted to see them in a state of quiet...in a state of rest. so often i watch them running by me. running out the door. running off to practice. running over to a friend's house. if my oldest reads this she will, no doubt, be completely freaked out by the admission of my midnight wanderings. in her book that would not be a tender mother moment, but a creepy stalker acitivity. anyway, i guess this is so much what motherhood looks like for all of us. i know i am no different. i am not special. this is the great beauty and this is the great sadness that weave together to create the same picture.
if i was being honest, i'd tell you there are days when i don't really want to gaze at my children at all. i, in fact, want them out of my kitchen, off the couch and altogether out of my hair. but, then there are those moments when i could weep seeing their independence. one morning, not too long ago, i came downstairs to find connor warming up syrup for the waffles he had already toasted. he was dressed for school. his shoes were on and tied and his snack was in his backpack. he is six. should six year olds be warming their own syrup? i don't know. part of me loves that. on many days, i am certainly quite thankful for his resourceful fourth child spirit. but every now and then i think, "oh no, honey, let mommy do that." do we ever achieve the perfect balance? at this point, i am thinking no. i am thinking we just do what we can with what we have and we stay on our knees. on our knees...always on our knees.
anyway, this post is tending to ramble mightily. i have somehow moved from a dossier heading to china to a six year old warming his eggo syrup, but i know you understand. these are the things of which our lives are made. we have big occasions and grand times and we have simple trifles and trivial moments...all of it blends together in this gift we have been given: our lives. and somehow in this little bit of time here on earth we have to figure out how to soak it in, drink it up and hold it tight. there will be rare moments when we are out ahead and there will also be many times when we are running little behind. and this is life.
"show me, o Lord, my life's end and the number of my days;
let me know how fleeting is my life.
you have made my days a mere
the span of my years is as nothing before you.
each man's life is but a breath."