Sunday, July 28, 2019

Hang in there, Mama. You're going to miss this.

It's Sunday which means some mama out there got up extra early this morning to get her kids all dressed up for church.  Then, she headed out the door with her family for the "perfect" day of worship . . . until it all went wrong and now she just can't wait to get everyone in bed. She wonders how many years it will be until she can breathe again.  She is a wonderful mom who adores her children, but she's exhausted.

This is for that mama.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. This one is worth a million. We look like we pretty much had it all together for a family with three kids all aged 5 and under.



It was baby dedication day at our church. The dedication went well, but then there were the pictures. My youngest was the starving baby. It was her day.  She looks pretty content in the photo but she was humming and murmuring all sorts of noises as she frantically lapped her fingers. I prayed she wouldn't start squealing until after we were done with the photo session. The middle one - she was a sweet, delightful child most of the time. Not that day. She woke up with a swollen eye. I still don't know why, maybe a bug bite or maybe it was the start of a cold. It didn't matter.  She was done. She was done with babies. She was done with church. At this age, she hated getting her picture taken. I mean, she HATED it. You see how my husband's hand is spanning her entire stomach area? That was to hold her still. She was not cooperating . . . at all. If you look closely enough, you'll see that her tongue is sticking out. My son just wanted to get the picture session over with so he could go get something to eat. He was trying hard to be patient, but he was over his sisters.  Both of them.  See his gritting teeth?

You see that smile on my face. Fake. Believe me, I was not smiling on the inside. Somebody was going to "get it" and get it good when this was done.

My husband was fairly calm. His only goals were to hold the middle one still and not tell me to calm down . . . because that never works.  Men, don't tell your women to calm down.  It doesn't work.  Trust me.

I thought I would never be able to appreciate the photo because I would always remember the disaster that it was.


This is now one of my favorite family photos. It reminds me of days I wish I could get back. It hangs in my hallway. Every time I see it, I smile at the memory and I know that I would do it all over again, the good and the bad. I think that when we get older, there are always some things in life that we would never want to do over again.  Some things are just too painful, but I would raise my kids all over again.  The wisdom I've gained from already raising them once would require that I change some things, but I would do it all over again, all of it.  I love my adult kids. I'm so proud of all of them.  They are fine young adults.  I thank God for the gift of them every day.  They are all doing great things and they are doing them well.  I love the adult version of all of them, but I also miss the little ones in this photo.

Obviously, I can't do it all over again.  I'll continue to walk by this photo every day and remember the story behind it as I smile.  Sometimes I even laugh.  It was such a joy to raise them.  They bring me joy still, even in the memories of disastrous situations.  I survived and so will you.  You might not believe it now, but someday, you will look back and smile too.  You might even laugh.

Hang in there, Mama.

Children are a gift from the Lord. They are a reward from Him. - Psalm 127:3 

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