A Pause in Parenting {A Poem}

My four beautiful  girls were all huddled around the computer desk a few days ago and were pointing, giggling, and talking as I cooked dinner. They were all so happy that I broke away from food preparation to investigate. (I’m always looking for new ways to make them happy – especially for when they spend time together) Upon inspection of the screen of my laptop, I was surprised to see them looking through my old blog. As they looked through all the old posts with stories and photos, they shared memories and debated names of former stuffed animals.

I was sucked in as easily as they had been. I knew in  my heart Abigail was just making a really good attempt at procrastinating her homework, but I let it slide. We all ooo’ed and awe’d at how cute everyone’s younger and littler selves were and shared our opinions on silly things. “Sophia, you always look better with shorter hair.” “That was so fun when we dressed as Rapunzel.” “I wish Caroline could have kept her curls.”

Bella remembered out loud, “That time Caroline threw up in my mouth was so gross.” Abigail found the photo of her first crush in 5th grade and we discussed her continued respect for  boys with brains. Sophia questioned me as to why I let her hair grow so long and scraggly. There were so many happy memories. Even the bad experiences have become happy over time.

It was a beautiful moment that I won’t forget. I felt so close with  my girls. I felt so lucky to be their mom. I was so grateful for so many wonderful memories. I was so astounded that they have grown up so quickly. I wanted time to freeze.

I was so glad that I blogged. My mom pride swelled as I realized that my little hobby had preserved so much for us to share. The girls lamented, “Mom, you used to have the best blog, and now you are so boring. You just blog about your problems.” Out of the mouths of babes. I chuckled as I reminded them that they used to often be mad at me for blogging about them and sharing all their secrets, but was privately happy that they were not just giving me permission to blog about them, but were practically begging for it.

I look forward to sharing more kid stories although I think it is more difficult to find such entertaining material as they age. It will be a fun challenge.

This morning however as I searched my heart and photo folder on my hard-drive for a more recent story or two, I just couldn’t help but feel heavy-hearted with the fact that my little girls are so grown-up.

A Pause in Parenting

They will grow so fast, they would say:
Try to enjoy every day.
I skeptically disagreed.
The dirty diapers will never stop
and neither will the million scraped knees.

I dragged along trying my best
not to totally screw up their joy.
I felt like a failure most of the time
and lamented my previous care-free me.

Ran around like a chicken I did.
Please don’t cut off my head.
Dragged them to and from every magical place
While I often wished for just a moment of peace.

It was in the car and school and church
and yard and kitchen and parks
that each little memory was made.
I didn’t believe I would ever miss it:
the toil and sweat was pain.

I stole a smile here and a smirk from them there
and a billion laughs and songs and sighs,
I often just cursed all the work it required
and didn’t stop to see the end
that would come quicker than a wink of an eye.

Now, I can’t make them stop.
They grow every day.
A millimeter at a time.
I would debate their inevitable progress still
if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes.

I can’t stop time.
I can’t keep them for mine.
Someday they will fly this coop.
I didn’t enjoy every minute like I was told
but I tried as hard as I could.

They, however, enjoyed a lot more
then I ever had time to see
and I guess that is the way
that God always intended parenting to be.

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