Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Flying Everything

Wow. I won't even tell you how long it took me to get back into the blog. I mean technically into the blog so that I could type this.

Needless to say, it's been a while. When last we met, I had a rising 7th grader, 5th grader, 2nd grader and kindergartner. Caroline and I were headed to Haiti. At some point, I may do a quick summary of the last 3 years, but for now, I have something to say about how fast these last 3 years have gone.

When I named the blog Flying Years, I knew that the saying the days are long but the years are fast was true. I could look at my kids and think that time was passing us quickly, even if the days felt like they were creeping by.

Several years later, I'm sitting here, typing this at 3:07 in the afternoon, and wondering where the day went! Now, even the days are flying by!! And if I'm being honest, and that's kind of what I try to do here, I'm panicking. I mean, somehow, the sloth's pace of a day with diapers and sippy cups and squeezing in Target before naps has become this (sometimes frantic) deluge of activities and real life issues with long term effects, and time?? HA! - there's never enough time now!!!

When we go on road trips, assuming we can trick our kids into putting their devices down--sometimes this is accomplished by pretending to charge said device, but "forgetting" to plug it in. Anyway, when we are driving for an extended period of time, we have been known to play the alphabet game. For those of you who have never played, you look for signs and license plates and find words A-Z - the first one to Z wins. It has been the source of much joy, many laughs and also almost several sibling massacres. When you play, you are so focused on finding that next letter, that the time and the scenery not needed for the game become blurs to your mind and eyes. The next thing you know, you've reached the gas station or restaurant or destination and somehow the hour it took went by unnoticed or you doubt where you are because you missed some landmark you always see while you were desperate to find the ever-elusive Q.

I feel like I have been involved in a much similar game. I have been focusing on the next milestone (or current milestone) and time has flown by. Some of the landmarks blurred by and, all of the sudden, I'm sitting a gas station wondering how I got here so quickly.

Early on in parenting, I think we speed from milestone to milestone, And they are important and necessary. Kindergartners in diapers with pacies and not on solid foods is not the goal we have for our able-bodied kids. So we move to solid foods, excited for the day when we can go to a restaurant and order something off the menu for them. And we potty train, dreaming of what we will do with all the money we will be saving by not buying diapers (**PUT IT TOWARDS THEIR ORTHODONTIC FUND!!**). These are milestones and small victories for us and we march towards them all with anticipation because they come with rewards.

I have hit a phase in parenting--and to be fair, I was warned--where each oncoming milestone is met with some tears and sentimental trepidation. They are still victories. I want to raise great humans who thrive outside of my nest. But, the quickly approaching leaving the nest part is kind of breaking my heart. Sure, the older they get, the more freedom I have personally. (Of course, that time is spent begging God to reveal Himself to them, guide them, protect them, etc, or work to make money to support them, but theoretically, I have more "free time".) It is absolutely true that I do not miss wiping stinky bottoms. But there is something about that time where a shower is the ultimate victory, nap time and bedtime are my heroes and the monsters they are facing are imaginary and under the bed that is precious and innocent.

I will not wax on and encourage those with littles to cherish every moment, because, let's be real, the moments that smell like rotting human flesh poo are non-cherishable. Instead, I will just say, it's all true. Everything you have heard. And so enjoy what you can and take heart that even the rotting human flesh poo stories will, with some time and febreeze, be humorous and precious memories.

Hind sight is 20/20 and it's also often prettier than it really was. I'm going to hope and pray that, likewise, my kids will leave my house with some rose-colored glasses--that when they look back, my mistakes will be covered with some grace and understanding and humor and that they will learn some from them. And, I am going to try and appreciate more. And I am going to remind myself that much like potty training and nursing every 3 hours, this too shall pass--both the good and the bad, so hang on or hang in.

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