I used to scoff when the "experts" said in parenting magazines and blogs that raising children only gets harder after the toddler years. I read those words going on maybe two hours of sleep, worrying about whether my child will ever stop (choose a word) or ever start (choose a word) worrying about SIDS and cancer as I've known it to terrorize the children of friends and acquaintances of mine.
Now as Caroline is 6, I'm starting to get it. The nuances of her gaining more information about our world from places other than myself, the way she's able to make choices without me there right next to her to give her limited options that will keep her safe/protected, and to have the tough conversations that come with just living.
I'm jumping into this next phase of parenting with both feet...just like at the pool, feet first, my eyes shut tight and holding my nose as to try and keep from drowning. Some days I come up feeling refreshed and renewed, some days I'm left coughing and sputtering from the way I handled it.
God threw me multiple life preservers yesterday, an encouraging friend who can relate to this exact stage of parenting with her own advice, a group of ladies to laugh at my silliness and to encourage me, and Caroline asking at the end of a long day "How does God forget our sins when He knows everything?" He whispered in my spirit to tell her "He chooses. He loves us so much and is so almighty that He chooses to forget. We get to remember to not choose the same path next time. But we have forgiveness so we can live free of shame and guilt." I try to remember those words apply to myself as well...
As she sleeps upstairs, a new day dawns, and news of fear spreads across Massachusetts and the U.S...I count and say a quick pray before...1, 2, 3...jump!
This was written as part of 5 Minute Friday, a blog prompt that whoever chooses can write for 5 minutes straight with no backtracking, revising etc. Join up or read more here!