I had a friend tell me some of the most wise words that have stuck with me for years. Her kids are older than mine and one day when I was telling her that I envied the stage of life she was in, she said, "When your kids are younger it is hard because you are so physically exhausted. They require so much from you physically. When they get older it is much more emotionally and mentally exhausting. Both are hard. It doesn't get easier, just different."
And I am just now starting to understand what she meant. Caleb is getting older. He doesn't need near as much help from me as he did even a year ago. He can dress himself (rarely matches and in clothes I don't love for him to wear in public!), he can get in and out of the car, buckle his and Luke's seat belts, get a snack, go to the bathroom, take a shower and so much more without my help. But now he is asking hard questions that make me think (Does God bless bad people? Is hate a bad word? When did dinosaurs live here?) and dealing with friends who hurt him. I have to spend time talking about "manipulation" and recently Joseph and I started role playing how to deal with different situations that come up with friends. My heart hurts for him when I see him being excluded or when I see him trying so hard to make friends with someone who is not the least bit interested in making friends with him. It seriously breaks my heart and then I go into Momma Bear mode and want to... we'll forgo discussing the things I want to do - you don't really want to know about that side of me!
Today we went with some of our friends to Pump it Up and many of the kids that we were with were still so needy for help from their moms. My boys weren't. Caleb is older than these kids and able to do all the activities by himself, and help Luke with anything he couldn't maneuver. I loved watching them today because it reminded me that they are growing up and I need to savor these moments more. It also affirmed, for me, that we did the right thing keeping Caleb home this past year. I struggled with the decision, but now know that it was the right one for us. It has been amazing watching Caleb and Luke grow into best friends and learn to play and interact with one another. They have made memories this past year that I will cherish forever. And when Caleb goes to school next fall, we will miss him, but prayerfully this relationship will continue to grow after having had this years roots planted. *sigh*
My baby boy will be going to school next fall. After much prayer, we have decided that next year he will go to school at a private christian school that I really like. It was a hard decision. But one that we are all completely at peace with. When I was visiting schools, I just kept thinking, "I can't believe that I will have a school-aged child soon." Followed by, "I can't believe I'm old enough to have a school-aged child!" But I will and I am. And I have to be on my knee's before our Father more and harder than ever in my life.
During the busyness of the day I am ready to move on and forge ahead, but in the still of the night I am reminded to slow down and enjoy my babies. Oh, this momma thing is so hard!! * BIG SIGH* Yep, it doesn't get easier...just different.