Thursday, July 24, 2008

Ideally Speaking

While I am keenly aware that children come into existence on God's timing I have always pictured my children close in age. It's true that I desired to have my babies 18 months apart on purpose. My siblings and I aren't close in age and there's always been a gap between us simply because we've always been at different stages of life. I graduated from college the year my sister graduated from the eighth grade. Nick and his brother are also a few years apart and been in very different places throughout their lives.

We wanted close friendships for our children and hoped that having them close in age would set a good foundation for that. I mean high school is already a completely different world now than when I attended, I can only imagine what it will be like for my children and how great for them to have someone to experience it with. I will never truly 'get it', but at least their siblings will have the same frame of reference.

Being a mom of three children this small is hard work, but anything worth working for is worth working hard for. I didn't know how many people it would bother to witness a woman with three small children. On three separate occasions a random stranger has quipped: "Looks like you need to get a new hobby!" directly to my face. I didn't realize how many people would be baffled to find me out of the house! "alone"! with three small children! and still smiling!

But I didn't expect, or even desire, to be their primary caregiver. In today's society two income families seem to be the norm and I figured that I would continue in my line of office administratin while Nick became a youth pastor and we'd partner with a wonderful daycare to raise our babes. I'm one of those women who actually likes day cares and thinks Early Childhood Educators are unsung heroes.

It's not that I don't want to be responsible for my children, it's not that I don't believe myself capable, it's not even that I don't feel up to the challenge.

The thing for me is that although first steps and first words and first foods are exciting and momentus; the first step will be followed by a million more, and the first word by a billion more, and the first food by a trillion more. And anyone can help a baby learn to walk and talk and eat.

But the first piano recital could be the last, and the first basketball try out could crush a spirit, and first heartache may snuff a soul. And I don't want to be absent from those firsts, to be there for the first five years and absent for the next fifteen.

I would gladly choose to miss a first step in order to cheer from the sidelines for my daughter with two left feet as she trips down the soccer field, smiling, because she knows I chose to be there for those steps.

I would have gladly made that choice.


Amanda said...

I think it is vital be there for the kids when the real trials start too!

Lindsay said...

I really liked your post today Amanda. Truthfully you really made me think and i like when someones post does that.

Lamb said...

Amanda, I totally agree with you. Most people do not realize that older kids and teenagers need their mom to be their for them through everything. Their world seems so overwhelming to them. They are being assailed from every direction and want their mom to be their for a soft place to land. They might not admit it but they do.
You are a very smart lady to realize that.

God bless,

Bloggy Mama said...

Your writing is intriguing. Beautiful post, my friend.

Jen said...

While I quite disagree with some of what you said, I can agree with the part about our kids needing us so much as they get older. It's been so interesting to read your journey and to get a different perspective on things.