If We Wish Away the Moments

"If we wish away the moments, they will be gone. The things we have wanted to leave--the mess, the noise, the obligations--will be gone, but so will the children! This is true of every moment of life. If we do not see its joys, if we do not make the most of it, it will pass--and so will its opportunities." ~Jaroldeen Asplund Edwards

The above quote showed up in my email Inbox recently, and boy it really struck me. It’s so easy, in the midst of the frustrations of potty training “accidents” and a 3-year old’s game of Ask Mommy 9 Gazillion Questions in The Space of One Hour and the realization that not only every item of clothing that your children own, but 99% of every item YOU own is actually a victim of Mysterious Childhood Staining, to just wish the moment away. “Calgon, take me away!” used to be an ad on television – I may be dating myself to admit to remembering that? – and how many of us don’t long for a long hot bubble bath, or even 5 minutes of blessed alone and quiet time?

I think it’s interesting that God made women to be the ‘communicators’ of the genders. Supposedly we will speak at least twice the number of words in any given day that men speak. Well, this only makes sense… not only did God realize that being a Mommy requires lots more words to educate, inform, warn, encourage, inspire, threaten, elucidate, investigate and ameliorate our offspring, but He knew that we would need to have the mental capacity to be on the receiving end of at least ten times the number of words in any given day (courtesy of those same offspring).

There is a verse in the bible that you have to take a look at to realize the full effect. Bear with me for a minute… “Where there are no oxe

n, the manger is empty (or clean), but from the strength of an ox comes an abundant harvest.” Proverbs 14:4 – OK what in the world does that mean? It means that if you’ve got an ox, you’re going to have to deal with an ox’s ways... but you also receive the benefits of ox ownership. If you have a child, you are going to have to deal with a child’s ways, and messes, and the frustrations of parenting that child. But, you are also benefitting from the love of a child, the development of your own character alongside your children’s, and all the joy that a child brings to your life. Not to mention the fact that you will have someone’s basement to live in when you are elderly and decrepit and waving a cane around to make your point.

Let’s all take a minute to realize how fleeting are the moments of our children’s early childhood, and to try to look at them in context of their – and our – entire lives. We may well indeed be sleep deprived and exhausted, with a wardrobe of clothes that still don’t quite fit and all of our own personal dreams, goals and interests stacking up like a pile of books that we haven’t found time to read yet… but we have these kids who smell like lavender after their own bubble bath, with footie pajamas and exuberant hearts and all the wonder of discovery in their daily worlds. My incessantly questioning son gave me a big, unexpected hug a few days ago and told me, “Mommy, you are my bestest friend in the whole entired world!” You know what? That’s about the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me!