Thursday, June 14, 2012

School's Out

Today is the last day of school for my kiddos.

I know. They're probably the last kids in the country to still be in school today! But they didn't complain about the 101 days off they had throughout the school year.
OK. Perhaps I'm exaggerating. Maybe they only had 81 unnecessary days off. *wink*

Anyway, at day's end I will officially have two kids in high school.
And Matthew is moving up to the "older" junior high.
And Joshua wants to start driver's training soon.
And Elizabeth has become this amazing, beautiful young lady.
And I'm thinking, Woah! These kids really are growing up!

I remember when they were toddlers. And sometimes I didn't think I would survive another day of playing Star Trek.
At the end of the day when Brian came home and asked, "How was your day?" I often said, "We played Star Trek all day. They were the cling-ons!"
I remember as pre-schoolers I was constantly trying to figure out things to do to keep them busy. Creative projects, new games, trips to the park. Oh, we had some fun times.
But it sure wore me out. Can I get an 'Amen!' from you mothers-of-pre-schoolers?
I remember elementary school. And flash cards. All too often I thought the alphabet, and basic addition and subtraction were going to be the end of me!
Seriously, how many times can you sing the 'Doubles Rap' while still maintaining your sanity?

Through each of those stages I remember thinking, The next one is going to be easier. It has to be!
Can I be honest with you?
As I'm moving through the different stages in my kids' lives, I am finding out the "next" one isn't easier. It's just different.
*I am not followed around all day by Joshua anymore, with requests that I hold him.
These days he'd be content if I left him alone for hours at Lake Lansing so he could spend time fishing. And I think, 'Don't you want to spend some time with dear ol' Mom?'
*Keeping them busy is NOT a problem anymore. They have things to do, people to see, and appearances to make.
And I wonder, 'Don't you just want to sit at home and relax for a while?'
*Learning the alphabet and basic math are way behind us now.
Today it is more likely for Elizabeth's math questions to completely stump me.
And keeping Matthew supplied with reading material is becoming a bigger challenge. Not to mention getting him to stop reading at night so the kid can get some sleep!

Dear mother friend, I hope I am not bursting your bubble by suggesting the "next" stage isn't going to be easier for you. But I really don't think it will be. I have become convinced the hardest stage of mothering is the one we're in right now. Because we're living through the challenges and it seems like they'll never end.
The good news is: Today's challenges will come to an end. Some day. (But they'll be replaced by new ones.)
The REALLY good news is: God will be with is through all our challenges. HIS faithfulness will endure. We can trust Him with our infant, toddler, pre-school, grade school, junior high, high school, college, and adult-child challenges. The struggles may be a 'first' for us, but God's been through them all!

School's out today. My kids are growing and changing. But GOD will remain perfectly faithful through it all.

*peaceful sigh*



Shane said...

Oh, I need some help and prayer for this summer. It's just the first week and I'm already spent. The kids have been up for less than an hour and I'm DONE!

Irritable Mother said...

Shane - Oh, girl, let's pray!
Father, I know You see Shane right now. I know You know her struggles and her feeling of done-ness. And I know YOU have the strength to carry her through this circumstance. So I am asking You to be her Strength. Please fill her with grace, that she might be able to extend that same grace to her girls. Please speak truth and Your love to her heart, and help her to hear those words. To hear them AND to believe them.
Father, please hold Your daughter. Show her Your power and glory today. I'm asking it in the wonderful, powerful, beautiful, matchless Name of JESUS. Amen and amen!

Love you, friend. And I'll keep praying.

Patricia/NYC said...

Nope, your kids are not the last ones in school! Lol! Here in NYC school is out on June 27th!

GREAT post! Made me chuckle as I remembered those exhausting pre-school days. I am so thankful that I learned this lesson about every stage being not easier, but different. And I am 'trying' so hard to appreciate every moment...even the tough ones (that's when I lean on Him the most!)

Happy summer to you!

Irritable Mother said...

Patricia - Haha! I just told Matthew the kids in NYC don't get out of school until the 27th and he just said, "Wow." I think he feels lucky now. :-)

The reminder to lean on God is one of the benefits of those tough times.