hen you first have children they talk about the challenges of parenting…. losing sleep with a baby waking in the night, the toddler who won’t stay in bed, the cost of childcare, injuries and illnesses…. helping them with homework, a messy house, the never ending laundry, the cost of school clothes, packing their lunches….
You watch their eyes light up on Christmas morning…. and try to soak in the magic of those moments.
You take them to church, play with them, and pack them along no matter how exhausting or expensive it becomes.
Life is just so busy that you rarely even stop to think what the end of those days look like. You go into it thinking that 18-20 years sounds like a long time….
Then suddenly hours turn into days… days into months… and months into years.
That little person that used to crawl up next to you in bed and cuddle up to you… suddenly becomes this young adult who hugs you in the hallway as they come and go. And the chaos and laughter that used to echo throughout your home…. gets filled with silence.
You’ve learned how to parent a child who needs you to care for and protect them…. but have no clue how the “letting go” thing is supposed to work.
So you hold on as tight as you can…. wondering how time passed so quickly…. feeling guilty that you missed something…. Because even though you had 20 years…. it just somehow doesn’t seem like it was enough.
You ask yourself so many questions…
Did you teach them the right lessons?
Did you read them enough books as a child?
Did you spend enough time playing with them?
Do they really know how much you love them?
What could I have done better as a parent?
….When it’s time for them to go, it all hits you like a ton of bricks.
So for all the parents with young children… whose days are spent trying to figure out how to make it through the madness… Exhausted day in and day out…
Soak. It. All. In.
Because one day…. all those crazy days full of snuggles, sleep overs, Christmas mornings, ballgames, practices and late night dinners….
All come to an end.
And you’re left hoping that you did enough right, so that when they spread their wings….