Tuesday, March 31, 2015

gospel mama: the dance

Even though my children are now all tall, handsome kids who can soothe my heart when life gets overwhelming and chaotic, some days my mind dwells on who they once were. Life changes too slowly and also ever so fast. A marvelous mental slideshow of their lives plays in my mind. 

Motherhood weaves an odd tale of burnt toast.

Babies begin as such delightful little things.The sweetness of early motherhood lulls us into submission. Babies are helpless and needy. We are easily addicted to the pleasure of satisfying and soothing them. They wear darling little things and stay where you put them and snuggle into the crook of your arm and we love then for every cozy moment they foster in our homes.

Babies never let you sleep, though. Like tiny cherub-like terrorists. they break down your defenses and bring you to your knees one sleepless night at a time. 

We are so ready for some rest when our babies transform into cute little toddlers who pronounce words wrong and almost die every day as they teeter around playgrounds that they know how to climb up, but not how to climb down. Potty training is a new kind of humbling no woman ever sees coming, and so is mealtime. We hide in the pantry with chocolate and eat way too many leftover chicken nuggets, but our little people are so stinking cute we don't mind most days.

But before we know it, the toddlers become big kids with the audacity to own their own wills and communicate their opinions clearly. It is a shocking affair.

At their worst, these kids violently argue over inconsequential details. They "forget" to do their chores. They lose all sense of reality: they can't hear you when you call them (unless you're calling them for something they want), they can't see their own scooters or shoes or backpacks when they leave them in the middle of the foyer, and they confuse the phrase "do your homework" with the phrase "disappear into your room and stare at the wall for two hours".

Big kids come in like a wrecking ball and all the mamas cry out for Jesus to take the wheel. Motherhood is a madhouse and we are its prisoners of love.

Then come the strange days of tweendom and at last full-blown teenage angst and joy. We have only begun to taste the fruits of this season, and they are glorious and awful, depending on the day and the hormones. Swapping thoughts and ideas, watching the same movies and reading the same books, this is the beginning of sharing the whole world with one another as {almost} adults.

Lord, have mercy on us. How do babies suddenly spawn into adults??!!

Because even though the babies grow into people with immature brains that bear little rational thought process ability, we still adore them. We can't help but love these imperfect messes that were created from our own DNA, although we could lie down and weep when they make bad choices. {And we often do.}

I'm not sure I knew anything about life and love before mothering the four gloriously messy people God gave us. My mental slideshow proves one thing: Life and people are full of joy and sorrow, pain and pleasure, delight and frustration. We can cling to the good or we can wallow in the bad of this moment, but either way, the trials of today will be water under the bridge down the road.

There is no "right" way to do this thing called parenthood. The music of life's slideshow plays and we must find the rhythm somehow, letting our kids try, watching them fail, cheering when they win, laughing when they laugh, crying when they cry, and always, always loving them until the very end.

Oh, Love, what a beautiful sound rings from the bells hanging over this home you've made holy.

The dance is in full swing. The slideshow is running. I am dancing with everything I've got before our time together is over and I have to learn the rhythm of a new season.

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