Dale and I had the privilege of raising two sons, Joshua and Zachery. It’s hard to prepare yourself for how your life will change when one becomes a parent. It’s also hard to understand the depth of love that you can have for a child that hasn’t even been born yet. When that child is born, you finally have a face, a flesh and blood person to hold in your arms and say, “So, that’s what you look like. I’ve waited so long to see you!”
Before one becomes a parent, you think about all of the things that you hope to teach your child – to play ball, to cook, to read, to have a love of certain things, to love God. The truth is, some of those things, most of them, they could learn from anyone else. But, it is that child who also becomes the teacher. My teacher.
I am so thankful for our boys and all that they have taught me over the years. And I’m not talking about home schooling them. It is through loving and taking care of others that we learn what type of people we really are.
I remember the day that we brought Josh home from the hospital. We put him into the little antique cradle that we had and stood and watched him. Now what? I really didn’t know. I did know that as parents it was up to us to make sure that he was taken care of. He depended totally on us.
I had to learn that my life no longer was my own. Selfishness is not a character trait of a good parent. As a parent we regularly put off our desires and interests for the benefit of the child and family. Often those desires are able to be fulfilled as the family grows older. But, it’s also amazing at how those desires tend to change.
I’ve learned how impatient I could be and at times how quickly I could get upset or angry at things that really didn’t matter. Being a parent tended to regularly show me how much I needed to make sure that my life was in order. I knew that I needed to be spending time each morning with my God, who was the one who gave me my strength for the day. Oh, but I was still often reminded of my own sinfulness as I would deal with the childishness or sinful behavior of the boys. You have to make sure and recognize the difference between the two things – childishness will happen, they’re children. Sinfulness will also, but that needs to be dealt with in a different way. But, what about my sinfulness? I had to make sure that I dealt with that also.
I learned how quickly time goes by. My Mom often says that as you get older, time goes by more quickly. I don’t want that! Really!! I don’t.
I remember that there were days when the boys were small and it seemed like forever before I got a good night’s sleep.
I remember trying to cherish those quiet nights, rocking and singing.
I’ve learned that now - to cherish the times that we have together.
I am so thankful for Joshua and Lauren with little Ruth, and Zach and Christina.
I love being friends with them at this point in their lives.
I’m thankful for the homes that they are establishing and the choices that they have made.
I’m thankful that even though we are far apart, we are close.
I’m thankful every time that I answer the phone and I hear, “Hi, Mom.”