There was never really a phase that scared me when it came to parenting.
Hearing about terrible twos, the nightmarish pre-teen years or the frightening teenage years only made me irritated with the parents who were referring to these ages with such disgust or aggravation.
I couldn’t understand why parents acted so frustrated and put out by each age and stage and seemed to want to wish it away. That’s not the way life is supposed to be, and I haven’t felt that way with any stage.
Here I am in the middle of raising a pre-teen boy and a teenage boy.
And as I have been going through life very intentionally teaching respect, self-control, manners, how to choose friends, discipline, and making sure there is plenty of fun and laughter in it…something hit me totally and completely unexpectedly.
I don’t really know the second it came, and I don’t feel like I had any warning.
I don’t remember reading any books on it, and it feels like it can take my breath away. What is it?
Sadness. Sadness? What is this? What is this feeling?
We are preparing to send our oldest to HIGH SCHOOl this year and I realized…I have 4 years left with him. What? Four years before he goes off to college…Four years?
I am pretty sure I was just saying that I had four years until he was going to go to kindergarten. Four years until he was going start middle school.
But no. Now I am at 4 years until he goes to college.
The sadness usually hits me at night when the house is quiet. Adam is sleeping next to me and I am just laying there with all my thoughts running through my head. You know what I’m talking about, moms. You just want to go to sleep because you are just plain exhausted, but your mind won’t stop.
And here’s the thing. There is nothing you can do to stop time. Nothing.
Life will keep right on going and you just want it to stop.
I miss every stage, and I love this one I’m in.
I love how I can tell the difference in the walk of who is coming down the stairs. I love that I have to wake the boys up in the morning. I love that they are old enough to get breakfast for themselves, but still love when I will make them pancakes. I love that I can get a hug any time I want to. I love how we can have deep and serious conversations together and then talk about the most ridiculous and crazy things as if they are normal. I love the piles of shoes lined up by the door, and I even love the toothpaste on the mirror. I love the basketballs and soccer balls all over the yard and I love when the boys want to play video games with me.
I just love it all.
I know we raise our children to leave. I know this. And I know that when our kids do “leave” it does not mean that we won’t see them again. It’s just so hard to know how to handle change sometimes.
So this thing I did not know about parenting…
I did not know what kind of sadness I would feel as life changes.
I didn’t know that I would have to control my thoughts even more and not feel like I wanted things to be how they used to be. Because I can still enjoy this stage of life!
Change does not have to be a bad thing! My relationship with my kids is still great, and I love every single second I am with them. But as things start to change when it comes to how much they need me, I need to be sure and completely purposeful with how my relationship is with God first and then with Adam.
I have to have such a strong and confident relationship with God that nothing can shake me.
And I have to have such a strong and confident relationship with Adam that I don’t let myself put the kids ahead of him!
Life can be tricky sometimes if you’re not careful.
For those times I start to feel sad? I have to change it into thankfulness.
Thankfulness for what I have. For my relationship with these boys God has loaned me for a time.
And I need to give as many hugs as I can.