Maybe it's because we brought a new baby into our home just six months ago. Maybe it's because we rented the upstairs of our home to help pay for the new baby (adoption is so not cheap) and moved our family of seven to our basement. I'm sure it's in part due to the obvious fact that I, as the mother of these five children, have been, shall we say, less than highly functional due to the many procedures I've had the past couple of months. Maybe it's the weather! Whatever the reason(s), my children have been pretty much out of control.
Usually, when things are a little rough it's because one of my kids are acting out and struggling a bit. That's when I realize this child may need extra attention or intervention for a while until he/she gets it together again. It's not fun when a child is struggling, but I've always been grateful it wasn't all of them at once. That is, until about two weeks ago.
That's when my children--all of them--started acting out. Constant fighting, constant tattling, constant beating each other up. I just kept thinking, "What is going on here?" I mean, my children are far from perfect, but we've never hit such rock bottom before all at once. I was beginning to think my children had made a pact with the devil or something, and I just wanted my real kids back again. I fell into bed exhausted every night from the never-ending effort to make and maintain peace in our home.
This past Sunday, after a grueling day of consistent contention, my husband and I looked at each other and just said "thank you" that we had each other to rely on and weren't trying to deal with it all by ourselves. I was so grateful to have a tag-team partner so that when I felt myself losing it, I could give him "the look" and he could jump in. Then, when I saw his patience wearing thin (which seldom happens), I could come to his rescue. Finally, a few nights later, I told him I wasn't sure I was up to it anymore. I was scared for him to go to work the next day and leave me all alone. That's when he reminded me of the miracle of the seven-hour school day, and I realized I'd never been so grateful to have three of my four older children in school all day! I just might survive after all.
I went to bed that night quite discouraged. Trying to give my children the benefit of the doubt, I reminded myself of all my kids had been through lately.Then I groaned as I faced the fact that I was heading in for another surgery. I wasn't sure our family could handle it. I found myself wishing for the time to pass quickly so we could get this all over with and life could be simpler, easier. I couldn't help but think that if my kids were older . . . if the baby wasn't so dependent . . . if Dan's job wasn't so demanding . . .and so on, this trial wouldn't be so difficult.
That's when I turned on the radio to a song that has always touched me. It's by Montgomery Gentry, and it's called, "You're Gonna Miss This." The lyrics explain how we have to enjoy the stage we are in with our kids--even if it's a difficult one--because they grow up fast, and one day we will realize we miss what we had. I love the chorus, which says, "You're gonna miss this. You're gonna want this back. You're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast. These are some good times. So take a good look around. You may not know it now . . . but you're gonna miss this."
Those words struck me like a lightning bolt. My first reaction was, "Oh no, I'm not! I am not going to miss this! " But then, that darn song kept racing through my mind the rest of the day, and by night time, I began to really listen to the lyrics and apply them to my life, and I realized how true they were. No, I probably won't miss the the fighting, tattling, hitting, name calling, finger pointing, etc., but I will miss this time of my life. Even now, when things have been a little tough lately. Why? Because I know we are learning and growing as a family, and as difficult as growth can be, it feels good in the end. We are getting through some rough things--together--and I wouldn't have it any other way. I truly believe we will all be more humble, more tolerant, more understanding, more willing to serve others like we have been served because of these tough times. And besides that, there's a whole lot more about life right now I'm gonna miss some day.
Yes, I am gonna miss this. And so I'm determined--even on very rough days--to simply take it all in, see the good, and not be in such a hurry to enter a new phase of life. Because one day I'm sure I'm gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast . . .
. . .At least most days, that is!:)