I mean, I am sure I will "get it" again...and again...and again. But tonight it clicked for the first time- these endless days are turning into whirling years. I am seeing the pages turn before I feel like I have read to the last paragraph. These children are growing.
And I do not just mean "oh-they-are-in-a-bigger-size-now" growing. But these ideas and jokes they come up with are completely independent of me. They are not reciting my words and my teachings. They are coming into their own and developing their personhood like never before. It astounds me to see my child tell me something she created in her mind and I am like, "Wow, I could have never come up with that." Or tell a joke that catches me off guard and actually makes me laugh.
I was once a child. You were a child. You did not stay 6 forever. Or 2. Or 14. Or 18. You grew and your parents instilled things and led you and did their very best they possibly could (with a lot of mistakes in the process) and here you are now living out a life. That is exactly what is happening in our homes today. These children are growing into these relational little beings right in front of us.
And gradually, we let them go out on their own. We let them step out into something they have not done before.
And we take our hands off.
And it hurts a little.
And we might be scared.
But we do it. Because the alternative is to paralyze them and stunt their growth. So we watch from the side. Holding our breath that they do not stumble. And sometimes running to them if they do and sometimes...not. Allowing them to build and learn the skills of starting again when they have taken a fall.
The point is, we are raising our children. And they are precious children. But we are also raising future adults. And the decisions and direction we lead our children in can either allow them to become the unique person they were created to be, with their differences from you and possibly similarities too. Or we can stunt them and force them and perhaps damage them from entering the next phase of growth.
We are raising our children.
But we are also raising future adults.
We want to enjoy these little people when they are big people too.