Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase ‘you’re gonna miss this’ more times than you’d like to count. But let me tell you, mama, you may miss this season for reasons beyond what you’d hope.
I preface this post by saying I am not here to bring you down or foresee what will happen to your children in the future. Instead, I am here to share a very real and raw truth that as much as we want our children’s lives to be perfect, deep down we know they are just as human as we are, and just as human as the homeless man on the street.
Just mere days before typing this, my 21-year-old brother lost his close high-school friend and fellow football player very unexpectedly to suicide. Mama, don’t rush the little years. You see, as they grow, the world can weigh heavy on our little children.
Hearing my own mother share with me how badly she wishes to go back to when we were young. Listening to her cry and worry every day about her own son’s struggles breaks my heart. Knowing she could easily know the pain of losing a child well before her own time comes is something I wish I didn’t know the feeling of.
The beauty of becoming a mother is that we find a new sense of empathy and compassion in ourselves. Once I saw those two pink lines, I stopped viewing my siblings (and other people) as just that, but instead from a mother’s perspective, seeing the innocent child in all of us.
I wondered how my mother felt the day she pulled each of us to her chest. The day she clapped for us as we took our first steps and encouraged us to keep going. She never stopped being a mother, even with all of us in our 20’s. Seeing her have to face the difficult decisions of her own children, involving big issues like drugs, alcohol, homelessness, theft, and so much more is even more heartbreaking, being a mother myself rather than just a sister.
Remember when I said the world will weigh heavy on our children? As they grow, they will know heartache, sadness, pain, suffering (sometimes beyond what we can imagine), rejection, doubt, fear, and so much more.
We will never stop being mothers, but while they are little, we are all they know. We play comforter, problem solver, peacemaker, boo-boo kisser, storyteller, cheerleader, and everything in between. But sadly, as they branch out from their inner circle, they may choose others or things over us to play any or all of these roles.
I know what you are thinking: it won’t happen to us. But sadly, in this unforgiving world, it can. It plays no favor to social class, religious groups, sex, or any of the likes.
So mama, while these days are long as we rear young children into fully functioning and capable adults, we need to remember not to rush these years. They are tender and precious in their own right, and a very small fraction of time in their life where we play a sole, integral role.
Mama, I see you when these days are wearing you down physically, mentally, and emotionally. I know right where you are, because I am there too. But stay with me for a little while longer as we find joy in even the most mundane of tasks and the messiest of faces. Because they are only truly ours for a little while longer.