Good, Better, Best Part 1
I'm not the kind of Mom to tell you that you must hang-on to these moments before they're gone.
Hi friends. Hope your first day of Fall is cozy and rainy like mine.
So, I've never been that kind of Mom.
Sure, I enjoyed the peanut butter smudged kisses and bundles of dandelions.
I remember words hilariously mispronounced.
Diapers on the wrong way, blown-out, and the hot Summers with just a diaper and a little shirt that barely covered a belly.
I remember little eyes seeing the snow, lightening, Christmas lights and even bees for the first time.
Seeing their name on a paper, their grade on a report card and a note in red saying that they, "Correct the teacher too much."
In our own corner of "weirdness" we have memories of this one singing as his first full song, "If I Were a Rich Man," and little girls belting out, "Sixteen Tons," by Tennessee Earnie Ford.
It's fabulous and amazing and wonderful and all of the other adjectives.
And in all of my learning and growing kids, I don't remember anyone, not a one, telling me the secret that I will now share with you.
It. Gets. Better.
There you have it. Don't say no one ever told you.
Sure there was, "Just wait until they're walking,
a teen ager,
have a job,
And too many other things to recount.
But my kids began doing these things and the proverbial other "shoe" didn't drop.
This may be because we were not able to find that shoe.
Whatever the reason, it didn't get worse.
It just got better.
They were able to sit in church, understand why they couldn't play in the street, or tell the neighbor girl about the Anti-Christ and had really great penmanship.
(I know, the Anti-Christ. You'll have to ask Abi about that one....)
They worked hard at their job even before they were paid for it, made friends, learned to be respectful, learned why the Bible is our source for simply everything and learned to work with their siblings.
Now I know that one of you is turning their nose up and saying, "Just wait until...."
But with my youngest becoming a teen this year, I've "waited" through more huge changes now to this point then is to come and I'm pretty sure the Boogie Man isn't around the bend.
How can I be even the slightest bit confident?
Because of the rest that comes from Proverbs 1:7-9 "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck."
Matthew Henry adds about the author, Solomon: "He takes it for granted that parents will, with all the wisdom they have, instruct their children, and, with all the authority they have, give law to them for their good. They are reasonable creatures, and therefore we must not give them law without instruction; we must draw them with the cords of a man, and when we tell them what they must do we must tell them why."
In and of ourselves, us parents have zero wisdom. We can't even figure out how to get the rear-facing car seat in the car before we bring our kids home from the hospital that first round.
We desperately need God and His Word and His ever present Spirit to teach US before we turn around and attempt to TEACH our kids.
I've realized that this isn't like Phonics or World History.
This isn't a, "Hooray, you passed that grade, that test, that subject and now you can just go off into life," kinda deal.
This is a, "Follow me as I follow the Lord until he takes us all home, " kinda deal.
Line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little, sometimes a LOT, as we all learn to forgive, learn to obey and learn to say, "Yes, Lord, whatever you ask me to do."
So I guess I'm saying It's "A-Okay" if you lose the wooden sculpture they made you last year.
If your "Best Mom Ever" mug gets chipped.
If you forget to instagram their school pics or their first knitted dishcloth or their anything and everything because you were having too much fun in the moment to remember to do so.
It's even okay if you weren't enjoying it at all and were having a terrible, horrible, no good very bad day.
Because it gets better.
It really does.
Your daughter will load the dishwasher, your son will call and tell you that he loves you and possibly even bribe his younger brother to buy you flowers for him.
(Here's looking at you Isaac..)
And that's plum awesome.
When we lead with learning ourselves, knowing God ourselves, and teaching this to the crew, life accumulatively grows sweeter.
Yes, I have a heap of fun and little-ness in an accordion folder in my closet that is busting at the seams.
It has the picture of the infamous house on the biiiiiiig hill that hung over the light switch.
Remember that, kids?
It has the Christmas list where someone who will remain anonymous asked for "funky clothes."
It has the one and only picture of your Dad ever spiking his hair. That is gold to this family.
It holds birthday poems and Mother's Day cards and even Father's Dad "DAD" glasses we all wore one year.
It's sweet and fun and we all enjoy going through it time and again.
But I'm glad that in the midst of the "childhood hoarding," I discovered that the goodness that keeps coming doesn't necessitate me grasping for each milestone to cling to for fear that the best has already come and gone.
The best truly is yet to come and is coming just as you finish up lunch.
Enjoy every moment Mom.
Enjoy the sweet and the squeezes and the Mother's Day gifts that make you scratch your head.
Make birthdays important, hang things from the ceiling, leave confetti drops on the front door so they are covered with love when they get home.
But make God's Word important too.
Make check-in's of instruction just as important as signatures on finished school work pages and report cards to be returned.
Learn to say, "I don't know, let's find out why we do that or don't do that, or why you shouldn't say that."
Learn to say, "If I have hurt you, please forgive me."
Ask, "How can I gain your heart again?"
"What has the Holy Spirit been teaching you?"
"How can I show you just how much I love and appreciate you?"
And so many more questions to remind them that you are the student too.
I just want you to know that it gets so much better.
So much more fun.
So much more honest and real and really really good.
So don't loose heart over the sink of dishes when they are asking you if you want to hear them sing their song for the ten-thousandth time.
Don't attempt to run away when you run out of patience, peanut butter, laundry soap or ground beef.
Don't faint for fear of them never learning to: read out loud without taking one blessed hour to remember each sight word, to take the garbage out, or remember their seatbelt driving to school.
Get your nose in the Word and let it teach you to teach them.
And remember that we can take this whole crew to heaven with us when all is said and done.