Just a few minutes ago, I sent all three of my kids off to school together. Yes, my baby officially packed up his book bag and shipped out to Kindergarten. And while this does nothing to change the fact that I am still (and will always be) their mother, it does signal a change of season for me. At least for this year, between the hours of 8:00-2:15, I will not be accompanied by the constant presence of someone under four feet tall. This has not happened in ten years.
Truthfully, though, I’m not exactly sure what to do with myself.
One thing I do hope to do is catch up on some quiet space. For the last decade, I haven’t been able to give myself to prayer or Bible study without half-listening in the background for “Mommy, I need….” This isn’t problem–life naturally cycles through different stages–and I’ve learned to I take great comfort in what Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones once told a group of medical students who complained that they didn’t have time for prayer and Bible Study:
I am a doctor. I have been where you are. You have time for what you want to do. I make only one exception: the mother of preschool-aged children does not have time and emotional resources.
But now, I am officially no longer a mother of preschool-aged children. (*sniff*) And that means learning to steward my time in different ways. In fact, I won’t be surprised if it’s as much a learning curve for me as kindergarten will be for my son.
Still, I want to say something to all you mothers who do have preschool-aged children: Stay strong in your love. Love these little ones and these little years because they slip by more quickly than you can imagine. Your life is very full right now. So full that you can hardly see the road ahead over all the sippy cups and diaper bags and potty charts. But this too will come to an end, and when it does, you will be thankful for these years.
Don’t get me wrong, there will be plenty of “could’ves, would’ves, and should’ves.” These are the natural result of caring as much as you do. But when it is time, when you start giving away the baby paraphernalia, it will be okay. It will be okay because you know that something–Someone–greater than you has been directing these seasons. And just like you’re ready for autumn after the joys of summer; and just like you can’t wait for the first winter’s snow fall, you will be ready for the next season. You’ll be ready for it because You know the faithfulness of the God who brings it.
So embrace the time at hand, whether that means sending little ones off to their first day of kindergarten or sending them off college. Embrace the time at hand because you know it comes from His hand. Because when you know this, you will be free to live fully in it, hallowing it as a sacred gift. You will be free to look to the past with joy and look on into the future with hope–the hope that the One who created time makes it all so very, very beautiful in His time.