...with a husband and 5 sons, I am truly outnumbered....stories and thoughts on life from a mom in a houseful of little men!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Missing the Littler and Simpler

So this week we find ourselves with a new teenager, which brings the total to two teenagers in the house, whom I'm pretty sure I just birthed last week.
I'm happy and sad.  I'm so proud of our crew and so encouraged by how I see God working in their hearts and growing them into the men He has planned for them to be.
But I'm sad, too, because though I love their big-ness, I surely miss their little-ness.  It doesn't help that we no longer have a diaper-wearer in the house.  This too is a big "Praise Jesus" intermingled with tears.  There's no hiding it.  Our family is evolving. Growing.  Things in this life simply don't stay the same for long.
I remember so clearly that evening ten years ago, sitting with a small group of women listening to a dear and wise mentor share words of encouragement.  Lynda looked us square in the eyes (how did she look at every. one. of us at the same time?) and she said in essence, "You girls think life is always gonna be like this.  You married the guy.  You had the babies.  You're living that dream.  It's hard and all-consuming, but I'm telling you: it's not always going to be like this.  In no time, it will be over.  This is only the smallest snippet of time."  Her point, was to live it fully.  To appreciate all the details.  To know that it is a gift.  To know that it will soon change.  To know we can't get it back.
How wise and true her words were.  I knew it on that evening, and I know it now.  Only now I'm seeing it happen with my own eyes.  Time slipping through my fingers, hour after day after week after month after year.  Measured in five small sons who aren't so small anymore.
With Monday's celebration of thirteen years of dearly-loved Noah, I find myself thinking back to the "little years."  The years when they all basically enjoyed the same things.  I could be a super-hero simply by carving out a few extra minutes to drop by the playground on the way home from running errands with them.  They would actually all still enjoy that now, too, but it's…different.

It's different in the same way they will all lay on the floor building a matchbox car track with their four-year-old brother…and though they're all having fun, they are having different sorts of fun.
 The same way I can still feed them good foods and fill them, but it takes A LOT more food, which means the foods need to be simple and must be bought in BULK.  
Different, in that we can all read the Jesus Bible Storybook at breakfast together and enjoy it, but I still need to be sure my older ones are being fed spiritually in deeper ways.

Different.  Deeper.  Fuller.  Yes.

but sometimes I miss the littler.  simpler.

There's no stopping it.  So what's this mama to do when it makes me happy and sad and desperate and proud all at once?  Lift my chin to the sky and whisper "thanks" continually.  Pray unceasingly for these little men to grow in grace and wisdom and love of truth.  Enjoy each and every moment.  Let some not-so-important stuff slide.  Let lots of stuff go, in order to look deeply into bright blue eyes as they tell me for the six-hundredth time  about what's happening in the latest Axis & Allies board game, realizing that this is holy work being done.  It's telling an eternal soul that they are loved and important.  That they can come to me later with the bigger things, because I bothered to care about the small things.

So I guess, there still is  littler.  simpler.  stuff going on here.  It's just that those things take a different form than five small bodies eagerly gathered around a Thomas the Train track.  This smaller stuff is giving way to the deeper, fuller, big stuff.  The stuff that will continue to come in bulk amounts (along with food orders) as we blessedly walk through the coming count-down of summers left before we must begin to let them fly.

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