Well, it is finally upon me. The day has come when my son has made the choice I dread. Given the choice of "want to snuggle with mommy or get right in your crib?" His reply is "git in my kib." My days of rocking my son to sleep are very very limited. Now they will be based on his whims, and soon he will completely done with rocking.
I knew this day was coming. It came even earlier with my first snuggle bug. Jacob is going to be 3 on Saturday. Shannon was 2 when she began arching her back and pointing to her crib when I would sit down to rock her.
We always talk about how fast these days go, when our children are small. I have done my best to heed these words of wisdom and treasure every snuggle, every moment in a rocking chair with my child's head resting just below my shoulder. And still I find myself with tears in my eyes as I write this. In 9 days time my five year old daughter will be climbing on a school bus and going to all day Kindergarten.
I have always tried to keep a right perspective on raising children. It will occupy about 20 years of my life. If I live to be 80, that is only one quarter of my days spent focused upon raising my kids, and there are many other ways of living and being that God calls me to, in addition to being a parent. My true identity is found in Christ, and my identity as a mother is one aspect of who God has called me to be.
But no matter how much perspective I try to claim, there is no denying the special sacredness that comes with being a mother of young children.