Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Middle Part of Parenting

It's almost like a lull in life around here, except it's not.

Those first few years of parenting were physically exhausting.  There were the middle of the night feedings, the constant attending to of needs, the diapers, opening doors for small children, Sesame Street, bending over them in the bathtub to scrub off the day's dirt, the obedience training, dressing the wriggly little bodies, the potty training, the meal making, the never ending laundry parade, and the All Of The Things that come with having a house full of Littles.

But somewhere in there, things started getting easier.  Sure, there was still plenty to do, but they could pour their own bathtub or buckle their own seat belt.  Then they poured their own breakfast cereal and put their own dishes in the sink.  And one day, you look up and everybody's potty trained and can dress themselves.

Suddenly, your days leave you with energy and time to think.  Suddenly, you have time to ponder intentional living and read a book or two.  Suddenly, your 'one day' is your 'right now'. 

The right now looks like children who have daily chores that teach them responsibility and give me breathing room.  It looks like kids who read to each other and know how to wash their own clothes.  It looks like children who are learning to cook meals and everyone knows how to open the door by themselves.  It looks like real conversation time and laughing over things that are actually funny.

Just around the bend looms awkwardness and uncertainty in the lives of our soon-to-be tweens.  Just barely behind us are the days of barely keeping our heads above water for all the demands we were trying to meet.

But right now?  Right now is a time of sweet mellowness.  Sure, there are challenges.  There are lessons being learned on their part as well as theirs.  There are mistakes being made on our part and theirs.  But it's a forgiving chapter of parenting.  The energy requisites are much lower and the harder emotional stuff hasn't reached us just yet. 

We're resting here.  Indulging in the now.  Relishing the busy calmness of it all. And, as always, the right now is precious.

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