You know those nights when you are sound asleep and one of your children yells for you? Startled you jump out of bed and go running towards the noise. Because that’s what moms do. You don’t think and you don’t question. You just go. I can think of a lot of incidents like that. However, one stands out to me—partly now because we can look back on it and laugh.
Growing up my boys shared a room with bunk beds. The beds were in an “L” shape and the youngest slept in the bottom bunk and the oldest slept in the top bunk. I remember one night, when both of my boys woke me up hollering. I ran into their room to see what was wrong and both were crying and very upset. The oldest was seven years old and the youngest was three. As I flipped on the light the oldest kept saying, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry.” And then proceeded to throw up again off the top of the bunk bed, which almost threw the three-year-old into a total melt down, because he had been sound asleep when his brother got sick over the top bunk and down onto him. So, I had one vomiting and one covered in vomit.
As a mom, I wanted to run. I can handle pretty much anything except throw up. But I rolled up my sleeves got the oldest off the top bunk and over the toilet and the youngest into the shower. If you are a parent, you have probably dealt with situations such as these. It’s a massive undertaking to get all the linens clean and room aired out and carpet shampooed. And this all must be done while taking care of a sick child or children in many cases. There are times it can feel discouraging and as if it is never-ending. But trust me, as a mom whose children have all left home now, those days are fleeting. I promise they come to an end. One day you will be my age wishing you had those days back when your children were all still at home.
So, don’t let the hard days get to you. They will pass. There will be good days filled with laughter and sheer perfection. Cherish those! They are like precious gems—rare and beautiful.
And on the days filled with road blocks, disappointments, illnesses and unexpected frustrations, remember these days will not last. They do end. During the struggle, stop and pray. If only for a moment, it will refocus you. Then ask yourself, what is the most important thing right now. Almost always it is your child. They may need your understanding, your help, or your comfort. Give it. There will always be dirty clothes, dishes and dust. But there will not always be time to hug, kiss, comfort, listen to, laugh with or read to your child.
Believe me I was the mom who thought everything had to be perfect and clean all the time. It was hard to make myself sit down and watch a movie and cuddle on the couch because I had a running list in my head of things to be done.
But you know what I remember? I remember playing puzzles with my daughter for hours and making huge messes baking and decorating cookies and ginger bread houses. I remember having shaving cream fights in the front yard. I remember going to the creek with the oldest hunting for dinosaur bones and listening to every play late into the night after Friday night football games. I remember having dates with the youngest at Barnes and Noble and reading every single matchbox car book in the store. Those times are priceless, and I will always wish we had more of them.
So, amid the drama, illness and frustration of just being a parent, make precious memories, and remember children are a blessing and a heritage from the Lord. Treasure your time with them and enjoy it. It passes so fast!
Psalm 127:3-5 New International Version (NIV)
3 Children are a heritage from the Lord,
offspring a reward from him.
4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one’s
5 Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their opponents in court.