Welcome to my musings...

After a 3 year hiatus from blogging (too busy parenting teens to have time to write about it!), I have decided to revive my blog. I look forward to sharing my perspective on mothering as I am at the tail end of my child-raising journey. Nothing could be more beautiful, more full of joy and pain and anguish, than the divine calling of motherhood. I pray my musings will bless you on your own journey, and that you will feel encouraged and equipped!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

When Firsts Become Lasts

Being a mother entails being the keeper of many “firsts”. Ask any young mother when their baby got their first tooth, and you will likely get a rapid response. On the contrary, ask a father, and he will likely answer, “The baby has a tooth?” For some reason, God has made mothers the keepers of such memories. We notice every first our children accomplish, from their first steps to the time they read those first few words from a book. Many of us faithfully record these instances in baby books and scrapbooks, preserving the memories for the future (at least until we have more than two children…then our scrapbooking efforts often get a little sketchy!).

I’ve noticed, however, that the “lasts” tend to pass by unnoticed. One day, we realize that no one has asked us to tie a shoe for them. No one has asked us to read a bedtime story or dress a doll for them or place a Band-Aid on a wound. In what seems like the blink of an eye, we’ve gone from providing for every need to occasionally assisting. And, in the hustle and scurry of everyday life with children, those “lasts” have slipped by without us recognizing them. I have to confess, this makes my heart sad until I remember that this is God’s design: we are given a tiny little being to mold and shape and love and nurture into an independent, God-fearing adult. If we have done our job well, we will reap a harvest of blessings in watching our children serve and love the Lord as independent adults.

I am starting to feel like I am entering that season of lasts. My oldest daughter is a sophomore. She is driving, has a job and is starting to think about college. We are working on a high school transcript, figuring out when to take the PSAT and SAT, and beginning to talk about college and future plans. While I share her excitement as she figures out where God is leading her, my mother’s heart also aches at the coming changes. Today, I am helping her get ready for her first formal dance, a Civil War Ball that she is attending with her father. As I hem up her hoop skirt and help her choose a hairstyle and paint her nails, I wonder…is this the last time she will ask for my help in such matters? As I watch her learn to be more and more independent, my emotions are a jumble. I am thrilled with her maturity and her growing wisdom. I love that she is so capable…she can clean, cook, sew, take care of children and she loves God more than anything. Yet at the same time, I see that serious little brown-eyed girl who followed me around with endless questions and I miss her. We’ve already passed so many “lasts”…how many of them did I even notice?

So, if you are a young mother, overwhelmed by the daily tasks of bathing, diapering and feeding your young, please listen. While the days seem long now, I promise you the years will fly by at an unbelievable pace. After years of “firsts”, you will suddenly find yourself grieving the “lasts”. Take the time to enjoy them…enjoy the funny things they do that make you laugh. Treasure every time they crawl up into your lap with a book for you to read. Soak in every moment of quiet conversation at their bedside as they ask you the questions of their hearts. Listen to just one more question when you are weary to the bone. Give an extra hug or a kiss and store up those precious moments in your heart. For all those “firsts” will all too soon turn into “lasts”.

The days they crawl, the years they fly
As one by one, they pass me by.
Some days are years, but years are days
As they grow up beneath my gaze.

Just yesterday they were so small
How can it be they’re now so tall?
They used to cuddle on my knee,
And now it is their eyes I see.

Sometimes I worry, fret and pray,
I wonder what to do and say.
The days with them are precious few,
The years with them are precious, too.

Will they be ready on that day
When far from me, they fly away?
Will I have trained them, taught and shown
Enough to help them when they’re grown?

It matters not what they become
As long as they don’t wander from
The One who made them, and loves them best
Who gives them love, joy, peace and rest.

If they grow up to serve him well
As only time and God can tell
I’ll know that I have finished strong
The job that seemed so short, so long.

--Wendy Metzger


Anonymous said...

Loved your blog. For me it applies far beyond my children. I remember far to many lasts over the past year.
We should cherish these moments with our children but also with our spouse
they will never come again.

Michael G. said...

Well said, Wendy. Ah, yes, I remember it well!


schererart said...

Beautiful! Lovely family you have.