Objects (and People) Are Closer Than They Appear
I don't know about you, but sometimes when I'm on a long drive with my children, I pause for a quick moment and take a mental picture of what I see from my rearview mirror. In the midst of their laughter, complaining and sometimes teasing, it is still undoubtedly my favorite view.
However, in recent days with all the changes that have occurred, with one child at college and the other in the Navy and out to sea, the view looks different, than it did before.
Some changes are obvious, like the lack of numbers. Dropping from four children down to two feels odd to me. Luckily, the amount of arguing at times with just two, still makes it feel like they are all sitting in the back just like they used to be. I'm sure that's why they're doing it!
Additionally, fun educational handheld games like Leapster and DS's have been replaced for cell phones. What used to be considered a time for me to take a mom break has been traded in for hours of extensive research. Scouring the internet and downloading the best parental controls has become almost a second job. Also, I find the older they get, the more we want to track them. When they were little there was no question where they were and what they were doing because they were with us, all the time. They were strapped in their car seats, happily or (unhappily) awaiting the next adventure regardless if it took them to the grocery store or vacation. You could always find them by just looking in the rearview mirror.
The less obvious changes in what I see now have happened over time. The transformation of sweet baby voices for deep ones, car seats for driver licenses and daydreams for career plans, came sooner than I imagined.
Most days I embrace the change wholeheartedly. I do love seeing them get older and watch them navigate their future. I love the shift in our relationships to have it be more than just a parent and child. I have also found that I not only love them but like them as people and who they are becoming. I enjoy their company as they too, enjoy us and time with each other.
But, some days, I find myself resisting the change, not intentionally with my mind, but rather with my heart. I get caught in the emotional responses of things being different than how they once were and when I glance into the rearview mirror I still see those four small faces with love, laughter, and adventure ahead of them.
Yet, instead of staying in a place that is no longer there I use it as a reminder to slow down and be grateful for not only what used to be, but what we have now, how far we've come, and the opportunity to see where they will go.
Change can be hard for everyone. We are still learning to let it guide us ever since our oldest son and their brother, left for the military. Still, I try to remind them, and myself that if we don't change we don't grow and I don't want to let the fear of change dictate my and their future.
Fear is normal, but courage gets the final say. Trusting in God as we get older requires courage, faith, support, and love. All of which I hope you have to find true contentment in your life.