Friday, October 2, 2015

Taking Their Time

I may have seemed cool, calm, and collected, but inside I was writhing with anxiety.

What if...what if...what if...

Four years old...five...six. Still in Velcro or zip-up shoes. 

Other kids are supposed to know this by now! 

Other kids DO know this by now!!

We are falling behind! So what if he can read and do second grade math! He can't tie his shoes! I can't even get him interested!

Seven years old. Another mom expresses concern about her own son's lack of interest and asks if it's something we are going to focus on. 

"I'm not too worried. When he is ready he'll let me know. He won't be twenty and still not know how to tie his shoes." I was reassuring myself as much as her.

Eight years old. "Mom, can I have some tie shoes?" 

YES!! Imaginary fist pumps in the air!

"Of course you can." 

Like many things, he only needed me to show him a couple of times, and boom, he got it.

Let's just say I worried a lot less by the time Grace was approaching seven and still not interested in tying her shoes. (She took an interest somewhere in year seven, and now whips out a bow like a pro.)

I learned a lesson I have had to repeat numerous times as a mom: 

Chill, Mama! Everything comes in time. Their time.

Not a single one of my children has been what I expected. They have been so much richer, more vibrant, creative, funny, and amazing than it was possible for me to imagine.

They are already each a unique and beautiful flower. As if I were handed a pot of soil each with a surprise seed or bulb nestled below the the surface. I don't set the pace at which they grow or blossom. I get to water, fertilize, protect, and make sure they have enough sunlight and room to grow. 

Some burst open right away and shine their brilliant colors for all the world to see! Others take more time, start out small but gradually grow fuller and fuller and more and more aromatic until you are simply awed by their majesty. Some need to climb! Others need deep roots. Some need more pruning than others.

They are not here for me to make into people. They are already people, with distinct personalities, and nearly unlimited potential. They are here for me to protect, love, guide, and teach so that they can hone their abilities and strengths, overcome or work around their weaknesses, and make their own special contributions to the world. 

Best of all, I get to enjoy them at every stage! 

What a privilege to tend these amazing creatures. 

These whole persons who share my life.

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