I should be going to bed! I was snappy with my husband and am tired from an early morning but I’m finding that the peace and quiet of everyone sleeping is a bit alluring. It’s rare in my house that everything is quiet for more than five minutes. Sure there are times that I am pleasantly surprised by all four of my children reading on the couch to themselves or each occupied with a quiet activity in various, DIFFERENT rooms, but the knowledge that I will not be interrupted, tonight, for several hours is definitely a bit intoxicating.
Anyway, on to the reason that I wanted to post.
The other day I went ahead and did two things…#1. I enrolled my oldest daughter in preschool and #2. I took another step to life outside of mommyhood in my career. My friends know that I have made little secret of my intense desire to allow my own development even as I encourage my children’s. My good friends share that passion with me and for that I cherish them even more. They encourage me as I seek beyond this all-encompassing role of motherhood and push me to see what else God has in store.
As a wave of reality washed over me the tears started to fall. I began afresh, to realize just how short this stage of life is and how soon the bit by bit will be complete release. The tiny steps of freedom I feel I am giving my children now will soon turn me in an about face when the years I thought would never come have slipped away so quickly and quietly I know I will feel I almost missed them. I gave myself the freedom to mourn the loss of the sweet baby snuggles I once gave my precious daughter. Those snuggles that have now turned into quick hugs in the doorway of the school as I leave her in the care of others. I know that I could keep her home for another year, shelter her from the fast moving world around her, but she is ready to begin exploring that world and finding out who she is. She’s ready to open her heart to new friends and share a little of what her world has been up until this moment. As I let go a teeny, tiny bit I trust that it is not really letting go of her into the world but letting go of her into the arms of a loving God who will protect her because He loves her beyond my greatest moments of motherly love.
As I contemplated that I realized where that left me. At home for two mornings a week with MY BABY! Just me and this sweet last child that will one day follow her sister out the door. I didn’t for a moment wish that I had more children to come but I recognized that the years of saying, “I only have ‘x’ amount of years until I have to decide what I want to do with my life,” have finally arrived. I can no longer push off the decisions of what I want to do when I grow up, I’ve arrived…I’m a grown up with dreams still unmet, goals still to attain and a whole lot of years left to live.
For the moment I will, of course, enjoy those quiet hours of my sweet youngest child and cherish this time I have with her. I will endeavor to play, sing, be silly, and love on her as much as possible to allow her the attention she sometimes lacks with a houseful of attention-seekers. I will focus on being the best mom possible for the other three munchkins when they arrive home tired, overwhelmed and zoned out from a long day of instruction. I will not regret the mistakes I’ve made along the way but trust that God will use each and every one of them as a reminder that I must rely on Him for my daily strength.
And then I will continue to walk the path He has set for me as Elise, just Elise, not mom, not wife, not daughter, not sister, not friend but Elise Susanne. The one He gave dreams of teaching, dreams of traveling, dreams of drawing closer to Him each day. I know that discovering that will help me be better at all the roles in my life but most importantly it will help me see that He has a great purpose for my life that must be filled as a servant to Him first and foremost.