big milestone for a little guy

I’m feeling sentimental this afternoon and needing to write about it.

Today is “Little One’s” last day of preschool!  In just a little more than an hour, Baby and I will be back out at his school for an end-of-year celebration.  🙂

When I look back on his time in the 3-year-old and 4-year-old programs, I see so much growth.  I don’t by any means feel like preschool is a necessity–I think that parents can equip their children for grade school!  Neither do I mean to imply that preschool is frivolously unnecessary.  It falls somewhere in the middle, in the area I like to just call a “blessing”.  As I wrote to his teacher in a little thank you, I found it wonderful to have the support and partnership we, his parents, received from her.  We certainly saw him grow in God’s love, and that is an ETERNAL gift.  He’s really excited to attend the same school as his older two siblings, and I’m confident that he’s ready.  It truly is a blessing to look at your child and realize how excited they are to learn and grow up.  It also leaves me with some mixed feelings.  The years just go TOO fast…

Sometimes I tell myself that I did the wrong thing sending him to preschool, missing out on minutes that I could have spent with him, and dollars that we could have saved (rather than spent on tuition).  Most of the time, though, I feel like we did what was best for US.  Having a little time away made me extra-cherish our time together.  It was also really helpful last year when I was working outside the home that he had a built-in place to be for some of that time.  I could argue with myself for hours about what I should or shouldn’t have done, or just be grateful for the little boy whose growth and milestone is being recognized today.  I’d rather be grateful.

After all, in my opinion the years DO go so fast.  Before I know it, Baby will be off to school, too.  The other day when I was sweating in the afternoon sun pushing my two boys in the stroller (yes, I could have made my 5-year-old walk, but the point WAS to sweat!), a flood of thoughts poured over me when I saw a very-fit woman walk past me.  I imagined her life: kids off to school, all day to clean the house and keep everything organized, plus time to take care of herself (and read a book while doing so, might I add).  For half a second, I suffered a pang of jealousy.  Then, it quickly washed away.

Life has it’s seasons (and I don’t mean the winter-spring-summer-fall variety).  There are good things and bad things about each of them.  When we’re in the midst of a difficult time, it’s trying.  When we get past it, God’s grace covers over it, altering our recollections–easing some of the pain.  We can look back with a clear perspective which influences our foresight.

So, yes, right now what’s often challenging for me is that I don’t get much done a lot of days.  Sometimes I feel fed up about that.  There’s no question that my house is a completely disorganized disaster.  It needs a lot of attention.  Where IS my attention being directed?  Among other things, namely towards Baby.  My sweet little baby’s favorite place to be is in my arms.  I can’t pretend that I hold him all day or that I think it’s wise to not help him self-soothe and what not, but the poor guy suffers from chronic colds or allergies, and it brings him great comfort to be held.  The Snugli helps out, but plenty of chores are still difficult to do this way, even though your hands are free.

A few days ago I was trying to find something and got very frustrated that I couldn’t occupy Baby happily for long enough to really search (and never did find the item).  I didn’t want to tear the house apart any more than it already is.  After some time and reflection (on my walk when my thoughts ran away seeing the lady walking with her book), I realized that I’ll do my sanity a major favor focusing on the good parts of each season of life.  When my kids are all in school, if I’m still a stay-at-home mom, I will spend my days keeping the house clean and exercising, and that will feel really good to me because those are two elements that determine who I am and what I enjoy/value.

Even so, there inevitably will be a wistfulness in my heart–a little empty spot where I miss snuggling my grown babies and observing the sweetness that flows from the very little.  So, I’m trying my very best to silence the annoying voice in my head that says I need an organized home that gets cleaned every week.  What I need RIGHT NOW is to be there for my baby, who is so dependent on me.  Next year he’ll be toddling around and already will want to be in my arms much less.  He’s half a year old already!  Did I mention yet that time goes too fast?

Yes, there are repercussions.  Allowing my home to be disorganized and messy sometimes makes it difficult to find things.  It sometimes makes my temper want to flare.  But, due to the nature of this life, I could have the cleanest, most organized house in the world, and something else would make life difficult and cause my temper to try to flare.  Finding contentment is so much more appealing.  Being at peace is what I seek.

All such GOOD qualities are found in the Lord–in his promises, fulfilled.  I thank him for the grace he’s shown me over the past years as Little One (who needs a new blog name) has been with me at home and away sometimes at preschool, and I know I’ll need it all over again with Baby in the years to come.

As the seasons of life change, Lord, fill my heart with peace and contentment as I trust in your promises and focus on the blessings!  There will always be “things” that I could/should/need to/want to try to/ change, so I ask that you would help me to trust in your plan and power in those areas, and proceed with eyes affixed on you instead of the miscellaneous!  I love you!

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