Oh, my boys. Sometimes at night, I tip-toe into their room and watch them all sleeping like angels. My heart swells, I forget to breathe, and I wonder at a God who could be so amazing as to bless us with such perfect gifts.
When we all play games together, we laugh and hoot and participate in all varieties of crazy antics which means that we’re making memories that we will all hold dear (and will likely bring up during their wedding rehearsal dinners). When we pray together and I hear how they are growing in the Lord, I marvel at their faith. Like Mary, I treasure these things up in my heart.
I remember meeting them for the first time, trying their chosen name on for size, watching them dream. I look back at their baby pictures and can still feel their silky skin and downy hair on my cheek. I revel in the memory. Ooh, baby, I love being a mom.
Yes. Being a mom is glorious. But being a parent? It’s challenging enough to make a no-nonsense military commander pass out cold.
Ahhhh, motherhood bliss.
As this picture clearly shows, my life as a mom is free of issues such as
sibling arguments, vomit, rules declared to be unfair, and head lice.
Parenting involves so much more than simply being a mom (or a dad). If only it was all about picking out cute little clothes for a baby, giggling with a precious chunky toddler, and snuggling with a little guy who is first learning to read. Those mommy moments are delicious. But teaching a child to obey, training a child to be respectful and to listen, disciplining in love, gracefully handling differences and arguments, being consistent, and growing a child up in the Lord? That takes more work, energy, effort, and ambition than building an ark. Not that I’ve ever built an ark. I mean, how could I? I’ve been too busy trying to parent my kids.
I didn’t quite know what I was signing up for when I became a mom. This parenting gig is hard. Walking our kids through relationships, loving them through heartbreaks, cheering them on through losses, and taking time to listen when we’re so tired we can’t think straight? It’s hard. Developing their character, teaching them to manage money, preparing them to be independent, and having patience with them when we are correcting them again for the same thing we just corrected them for five minutes ago? It’s hard.
It’s much easier to plop the kid in front of the TV to watch shows all day to avoid having to deal with being a parent. It’s much easier to ignore the defiance and bad attitudes so that we don’t actually have to come up with an appropriate discipline for the behavior. Or is it?
Our parenting years are hard, but so is anything else that is worth doing right. The truth is, we’re much more capable of rocking this job than we think we are. After all, God has equipped us. He continues to equip us.
So stand tall. Sit up straight. Muscle up, and put on a confident smile. Our most important role as parents is to surrender ourselves and let God work through us.
And never forget to tip-toe into their rooms at night to admire their adorable sleeping faces. God gave them those faces because He knew how much we’d need the heart-melting reminders of our love for them after we see boogers smeared across the wall above their beds.