One in diapers, one a senior in high school and four in between.
My life is all over the place, quite literally.
I like it but it is a bit like being on an emotional roller coaster all the time. There is always something going on, and I don't mean games and art projects, I mean the emotional, spiritual stuff of life. I guess that's part of having six blessings to love and care for. There is always a milestone or 2 or 6 happening. Those milestones add up to one emotional mommy. And FYI, I am emotional to begin with.
So tonight, after an intense weekend of grad school (my peers have said they are emotionally fried too, so it's not just me), I went to the oldest boy's LAST holiday choral concert of his high school career. What?! I swear I was just telling the Husband there were two blue lines on the test at this time 18 years ago. I swear, it was just yesterday he was saying, "Do you have any idea how much diapers cost?" (Obviously he got over that. LOL) And my mother was saying, to me, her three-months married daughter, "I thought you were going to wait." And here I am the mom of a high school senior with college applications submitted.
And the mother of a 6th grader and a 5th grader and a 2nd grader and a 4 yo and a 1 yo...and I have a heart so overflowing with love and gratitude and ...fear.
Every stage and phase is new and different and each child goes through each phase differently too, because they are all uniquely and wonderfully made. The Husband and I are constantly adjusting and muddling through, hoping we're giving each child what they need to be their best self...because they each need different stuff from us, at different times and in different ways.
The truth is...The older my kids get, and the less I can micro manage their lives, the scarier it gets for me. You see, seeing them worry and hurt and struggle with anything hurts my heart.
I thought that having 6 kids, it wouldn't be so hard to say goodbye to the stages of my oldest. News flash: His last Holiday Choral Concert was a milestone, a last time to sing A Night of Silence. A last time to see my son process in singing O Come, O Come Emmanuel a Capella with the other men. (Men?!)
And on the other end, Miss M is starting to show her spunky personality as she runs through the house doing her impersonation of a tornado, frequently half-dressed.
I can see where he's been and where each of them may or may not be going. I can see that each phase has it's beauty and excitement and also it's tougher parts, too.
And then there are the balls I fear I've dropped, the ways I think I've let the oldest boy down or the others or the ways I will still fail them. And my heart aches. And I wonder, is part of the milestones learning that I will keep dropping the ball and letting them down and being an imperfect parent, no matter How. Hard. I. Try. ?
All of these things were running through my mind today as I watched and listened and experienced His. Last. Holiday. Choral. Festival.
These phases and stages are tough and tiring and scary. I do not have all the answers. I will drop the ball and I will let them down. That's a fact of life. Want to be a big liar? Say you have all the answers. I don't. You don't. No human does. God, however, does.
So tonight after I had my little, "ball dropping, failing my kids" moment, I sat in that auditorium watching all of those teenagers singing and can you guess what I did? I prayed for them. Oh yes, I did. And I just realized, as I prayed I dropped the ball so just now, I prayed for their parents.
Through all the phases and stages and piles of milestones, I can turn to God. I can talk to friends and the Husband and always, always I can lean on God. So. Can. You. I can let the fear and worry take control or I can turn to the One who has the answers and the plan and can use anything at all for good.
That sounds much better than a heart full of fear facing this big pile of (mile)stones, don't you think?
-Peace and Love