Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Seasons

Today I went to my first Tuesday morning ladies' Bible study in many years.

My hair was decently done and I had makeup on. My clothes matched (well, you know, I was wearing jeans, after all!). My homework was mostly done. I remembered to bring my Bible and a pen. I arrived on time, with no children (the kids are on spring break, so I left the little ones to be supervised by the big ones).

What a far cry from times past when I attempted such a feat!

I found a journal entry from September 19, 1995, when I had a 25-month-old and a 9-month-old. I was commenting about getting to Bible study:
I did manage to get there and on time - watching people strolling in late who have no kids/adult kids - I can't help but wonder, "What's your excuse?"

With me, it's a wonder I can get anywhere! Having a toddler is the truest test of anyone's patience - from getting out of bed (she calls me when she wants to get up, then says, "NO!" and lies down when I reach to get her out!) - to breakfast (every inch covered with yogurt/toast/ milk/ whatever!).

But I must confess I was delighted with one thing today. After our study it was raining. I was already carrying our son (9 months and 22 lbs), two diaper bags, a bookbag and a purse. I said, "Forget the umbrella!" (No hands for it!) and we ran through the parking lot. I put the baby in his carseat, opened the door for the toddler, and told her to climb in. It took her a few attempts and much readjusting, but she got in the car all by herself!
I remember that day so vividly, maybe because I was sweating so much just from the effort of getting there, or maybe because I had wiped yogurt, milk and toast off of my clothes but the smell remained. I remember being frustrated that the simplest of tasks - getting in and out of the car - were so complicated with little ones.

I laugh now - it's a good thing I didn't know then that someday I'd have FIVE kids! I'd have had a cow!

But maybe it would have helped to know that I'd get better at it. Maybe it would have helped to know that God honored even my feeble attempts at seeking Him back then. Maybe it would have helped to know that those same toddlers who are so much work in the beginning become delightful adolescents (and capable babysitters!) before you can so much as blink.

I know it would have helped to know it was okay not to have it all together, but to roll with it and enjoy the baby years a little more.

I'm looking at my "baby" tonight. Several kids later, I'm finally learning all those things with her. It is hard for me to fathom that she is older now than my oldest was in that journal entry. She is out of diapers. She carries her own backpack. She climbs in and out of her own carseat and fastens the buckles.

Sigh.

The baby years are gone for me, and that makes me very sad. It makes me want to remember to savor each moment - each season - and not to be frustrated at the dawdling pace at which time lurches forward. I spent way too much time doing that already.

I do so miss my sweet babies, even if I don't miss those sweaty, yogurt-stained clothes on the way to Bible study.

20 comments:

kardel said...

Thank you for this. Sometimes I need to stop and enjoy my children at this moment, while they are little. I'll give them an extra hug in the morning.

Laura Leigh said...

Katherine:
Remind me of this in the upcoming months/years, ok?! I have a feeling I will need to hear it!

Beck said...

Those baby years ARE so hard, but it's also so hard when they're gone. Already I'm feeling a pang that I'll never have another baby, and The Baby isn't even TWO!

Sharon said...

Just last night I was saying to Caleb that I thought I smelled like bread. From what? I'm not even sure. And the jeans? Those are special occasion pants right now. Very special occasion pants. I don't even dare put them on when I am at home for fear of getting spit up on or jelly wiped on them. It sounds like it gets easier in a way so I suppose I have that to look forwards to. :)

stephanie said...

This post is so right where I'm at, especially this morning as I need to get my girls dressed for Bible study! Last Fall was a turning point for me with my two. I had one old enough for the nursery/class time, but needed to keep the baby (six months) with me during the study. I had just the previous year watched another mom bring her little son into the study-time and watch her get unbelievably frustrated every week because he would crawl off or fuss and she would end up picking him up and storming off out of the room because she couldn't listen and take notes, and I would feel so bad for her. It was a huge eye-opening lesson for me (from the Lord, I'm sure, as I wasn't pregnant yet!) that when I was in that situation, I needed to just be thankful that I was out of the house and could absorb whatever I could hear from the study. That lessened my expectations so much and in return, I got so much more out of the study. It was a bonus if my baby actually took her morning nap in the big study room and I could pay a bit more attention, but if not, I at least got to hear the Word and be around adults, no matter how little the interaction. :)

Thanks for the good reminder on all this. It's hard to believe that some day, I'll be where you are! :)

Jen Holland said...

Well...i was just stopping in from the Blog Party, but you managed to bring this sick, pregnant, mom of 2 toddlers to tears! Some days you just need a post like this to put things into perspective. Thanks!

I'll be back! :)

JennaG said...

I have cried over the fact that my babies aren't babies anymore. Sometimes, I miss their "baby" selves. Where does time go? De-lurking to comment...

Katrina said...

Beautiful post, Katherine! Such a good reminder for me to savor the moments with my 9-month-old. Just this morning, as I changed yet another "blowout," I was wishing these days away, but your post brought back the reality that they will be gone much too soon. Thank you.

thatmom said...

I so appreciated this insight. My baby days are gone as well and I often find myself longing for the simplicity they brought to my life. I enjoyed reading what you wrote and will stop back as I came here from Sallie's blog.

Anonymous said...

Katherine,

You could write about this topic every day and I would never tire of it.

Chris from Canada

MurrayvilleMom said...

That is a great post Katherine. I really appreciate your open and honest thoughts. I am in the throws of motherhood of my 5 kids that are 7 and under. I am going to stop and just marvel in them every moment that I can! Thank you for the reminder. I don't want to wish this stage away.

Kili @ Live Each Moment said...

I have to say I need this. I have a 32 pound 18 month old, and I am 5 months pregnant. I never feel like I "have it together" and I am always trying to figure out how in the WORLD I will do this with 2 kids. Patience is NOT my strong point.

Thanks for sharing because it is nice to know when you are not the only mother feeling this way. Especially because I AM still in the baby season. I know, I will be sad when i am not so I try to enjoy it. But sometimes...I feel so scattered.

Dollymama said...

Hi!
I found you through a link from somebody on the Ultimate Blog Party. I think we have a lot in common. :) I am also a Christian mom, I have six kids too. My baby is turning 4 on Monday!

You may enjoy my personal blog (dollymama) and my baby boutique blog here:
http://thebabyboutiqueatwombswindow.com/blog
We're going to be having some freebies and fun there soon, so come on by! :)

Andrea said...

Katherine
It's funny you post this, I was having just these thoughts tonight, lamenting the passage of time when it comes to my children.
I so remember those bible study mornings in which you didn't even get to stay, because the baby wouldn't stay in the nursery!! Now that baby is 4 and loves her little class. *tear* Thanks again for being a GREAT encourager!!

Kristin said...

Just found your blog - it caught my attention b/c I am pregnant w/ #5. Thank you for reminding me that it's ok to not have it all together, no matter how many children we have. Thanks for the encouragement.

Rachel Anne said...

Oh boy do I remember those early Bible Study days, with Elle hanging on to my legs for dear life and Em crying the whole time. Feeling sick to my stomach over leaving them in the nursery. Those years did pass quickly....thanks for this post.

Robin said...

Thanks. I have a 3 year old and a 7 week old, and I'm frustrated finding time to do my Bible study during the week. Today I dropped off the 3 year old in childcare with black marker all over his face and shirt and arrived in Bible study 15 minutes late only to immediately have to nurse the little one. No note-taking here - I absorb what I can and be thankful that I get to go and glean from the great teacher we have.

The Martin's said...

My 4 oldest are almost all teenagers now, but I have the baby too. And when you wrote about how women would arrive late with no babies in tow, it brought back some memories of mine I had completely forgotten when I was just starting out motherhood. I enjoyed your post very much.

His Girl said...

I remember how hard it was with three young ones - never making it anywhere on time...or clean...or smelling nice...always smelling like spit up. 17.5 years after my eldest was born, 11.5 years after my youngest was born...our new youngest joined the family last August. It is so nice to really enjoy this baby...to have the perspective that these days, months & years pass far too quickly!
Thanks for the great post!

owlhaven said...

OH, little ones are wonderful, aren't they? I don't know if I'll ever feel like I am done for sure..

Mary