“One of these days, you’ll miss the craziness.”
I hear this quote at least once, if not twice, each week.
And while it may be true, let me tell you why it doesn’t matter to me right now.
I am a mother of three children. They are ages 15, 13, and 10. I love them with every ounce of my being, and have never for a single minute regretted my decision to become a mother. It is something I always wanted for myself.
I was home for 10 years raising them, working part time occasionally. I was able to prepare meals for dinner almost every night, and keep up with laundry, make the beds, change sheets, participate in bath time, and say prayers with them as they went to bed every night.
I was also there when they didn’t sleep at night, threw their dinner plates across the table or simply spit out their food, ripped off their diapers to run around naked, got sick in their beds at 2 a.m., cut their own hair.
I could go on and on. …
I used to think I was exhausted. Now I look back on those years as a warm up or preparation for my life right now.
Just last week, between all three of my children, we had the following events over the course of seven days: six volleyball games, two golf matches, and four basketball games (all in the same day at two different locations), as well as practices for each sport. Now that doesn’t include the full-time work schedule of both my husband and myself, as well as my photography work I do on the side.
I spend most of my days “putting out fires” in order to keep things moving and get everyone where they need to go as well as manage my own schedule. My motto is usually to divide and conquer, but with three kids, my husband and I are outnumbered.
We don’t eat a meal together at home, but maybe once per week. We are most likely never at home to eat at the same time.
My house looks like a crime scene. I used to have the beds made every day, and now I can’t even think to the last time that happened. I’d like to think that if we got robbed, the intruder would give up and leave because I’ve been trying to find things for YEARS.
Yes, I know I most likely bring the chaos on myself. I allow the kids to be involved and active much more than other parents do, and that’s my choice. My husband often says we need to slow down, and I understand his point.
But here is how I see it. They want to participate and will never get to go back to this point in their lives again. EVER. Once they grow up and graduate, real life begins. And I don’t want to look back and feel that I didn’t give them every opportunity to be young before age and the process of life took that away from them. We do not force or push them into any activity.
My youngest son was a part of the Galion Little League 10U baseball team that won the state championship this summer. It was a memory of a lifetime! And while he may have groaned every now and then about practice or being ready to be done for the summer, he now sees the results of his work. He was a part of a very, very talented team that did something that hasn’t been done in Galion in more 50 years, and he may never get the opportunity to do it ever again. The memory may fade as the years go by, but he will ALWAYS have his name associated with that accomplishment, and he will never forget the teammates he shared it with.
As a parent, the all-star season has been a commitment for us every summer for the past few years with both of our boys, just as club volleyball has been a commitment every winter season with our daughter. Its a sacrifice, no question about it.
We are not raising our children to be professional athletes. We have allowed them to be involved to learn life lessons, respect, and discipline that sometimes does not come from school.
With that in mind, I hope they use what they have learned to translate into their own adulthood to be self-sufficient and successful. Sure, they will fall just as all of us have, but I pray they have learned to get back up and keep plugging away.
So what am I trying to say? As much as I am enjoying this season of our crazy life, I wont miss it when it’s over.
But that isn’t because I’m looking forward to my children being gone (okay, maybe a LITTLE bit!), but because I want to see what comes next for them.
I don’t want to miss a thing.