I had the thought recently that someday there won't be a baby in our house and I'll be doing other stuff. Part of me's like, naaah, that'll never happen because I will keep getting babies. And most of me agrees with that part of me. But another segment of myself is like, no, the babies will grow up and you will be like those moms of teens who go have coffee or something, with nobody crushing crackers on the table or hugging strangers who happen to be standing nearby.
I hate that idea. I mean, I will probably like it then, but right now the thought of my kids growing up fills me with terror. Brynn's going to be 5 in 3 days, and I am already weepy about it. I don't like this. I think I might be the worst mother-in-law ever, like that creepy I'll Love You Forever mom, just sitting quietly by my adult child's bed, watching him sleep. I fear I might have a hard time letting go. Really, I'm a reasonable person, and I'll be fine. But this turning 5 and 6 thing is hard. I can't imagine college, or them getting married or something, how that might feel.
But who am I, anyway? I mean, my whole life has been them, making meals, changing diapers, just parenting. So who will I be when this part is over? And is it okay if I'm not her yet? I'm 33, and I don't feel like I've started my life, or the part of my life that is separate from raising kids. Some people do both, you know, work jobs or ministry or write books or act, and raise kids simultaneously. And maybe I'll do some of that when (if) we get past the physically demanding younger years.
I'm happy just being with my kids, teaching them, feeding them, loving them. I know I am raising world-changers and it's meaningful, that all the mundanities are making a mosaic that will be extraordinary. Sometimes, though, there's this "stuff in the basement", this internal push to change the world, the grownup world, to be an explosive impact, to do something now, and I don't know what to do with that, how to make it all fit together, how to find the discipline to be everything I'm supposed to be. And besides, that wars against my belief that being "just a mom" is enough. Maybe it is, maybe it's not. Maybe it varies.
How do I hold on and let go, trust and protect, shelter and release and grow personally at the same time? What does God think we are, superhuman?
Once I figure it out, I'll let you know. It might be a little while.