Today I celebrated what is technically my 12th Mother’s Day. I cannot believe that nearly 12 years ago I was pregnant with my first child. So many of my peers are just now beginning to have children in their early thirties. Sam is half raised, if you count 18 as adulthood. That blows my mind in ways you cannot know if you don’t have children. Why? I’ll tell you.
Can I just be honest with you and say that in my opinion the vast majority of 19 year olds are in no way, shape or form ready to parent a child. At least this gal wasn’t. I think back to things I said and did and just cringe. Not that I didn’t take care of Sam, but that I just literally had no clue. I was not prepared for marriage, let alone having a kid. Reason number one I get a little shaky: my age and maturity level starting out of the parenting gate, or lack thereof-on both acccounts.
Since I was not brought up in a Christian home, salvation for me did not happen until I turned 20. Looking back it’s as though we were running a parenting race, all these other people and I, but starting out in last place. That’s one way to describe having no knowledge of how to raise your child “In the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” That is probably the biggest issue I have, personally. That I have not had the example of a godly parent to guide me in my own parenting journey. I would equate it to trying to wash dishes in the dark. You can probably feel your way through most of it, but you just don’t know that each dish is getting 100% clean.
These are the questions that I ask myself:
Have I told her enough how much she is loved and cherished-by the Lord, and us? More important-have I shown her this? Does she have any clue how proud I am of her? Will she continue to follow the Lord when she leaves our nest, and make life choices that honor Him? Will she look for a husband who loves God more than he loves her-that is this momma’s prayer.
See, I know who I am, and the choices I have made. They are not all great and wonderful and have not always honored the Lord. I don’t want her to be like me. I want her to be better than me. It is hard and humbling because truly, the person I desire her to become is the person I need to show her now. Ouch. That hurts.
Eighteen years seems like an eternity when you have a newborn. It’s not. There is a reason the old quote, “Time flies when you’re having fun,” stuck. Those words don’t lie. I’ve certainly been having fun, but any time I think about the next few years and the inevitable changes that will come, I get this pain. It’s sort of in my upper body, towards my left side; somewhere in the vicinity of my heart.
The Lord has given me five beautiful and uproariously funny children. He has also blessed me, despite me. Shades of grace shown in the frequent hugs of an almost-teenage daughter. Sweet words from a busy nine year old boy. Twins with a twinkle in their mischevious eyes. A tender- hearted girl with a smattering of freckles for decoration.
This has been a great Mother’s Day. Homemade, handwritten cards. Breakfast in bed.
We had a fun time. And of course, it flew.