I turned 30 a couple of months ago, and decided it was time to start referring to myself as an “adult”. To be honest, I’m still trying to figure out who and what I want to be when I grow up, but I’m one step closer to admitting that grown up is knocking on my door.
I know, I’m married with two kids, we own a house, have careers; we do things like fertilize the lawn and pay property taxes, but only out of necessity. At heart, I’m still an awkward kid playing house – trying to fake it till I make it – if you will.
God definitely doesn’t make mistakes, but I often think he must have a pretty good sense of humor, letting me raise two tiny humans. Doesn’t he know that I have no clue what I’m doing? He must be getting a really good laugh up there, especially knowing that he gave me the smartest (read manipulative), most inquisitive (hello “why” phase) & assertive (seriously bossy) child ever. But despite my inexperience & the chaos that sometimes ensues, I’m so thankful to be her mama. She, and her insomnious baby sister, have completely rocked my world & hijacked my heart.
It doesn’t matter to them that the only child development class I took (of which I remember nothing) was in high school. They don’t care that most of my answers to “why” are made up, or that they eat the same boxed macaroni and cheese and store bought baby food (gasp!) everyday because I’m not a very creative chef. They have no idea that potty training may be my kryptonite, or that I constantly worry about how I must be damaging them. Truth be told, I’m my own worst critic.
The craziest part? Not only do my kids not care about any of the things that worry me, they’ve never even noticed them. They think that I can move mountains and kiss away any boo-boo. They think this home is their castle & that Daddy is their prince. In their eyes, I’m fearless & wise, nurturing yet stable, and that gives them confidence to face the world.
I’m not afraid to admit that staying home with my children is a lot harder than I expected it to be – maybe because of the energy it requires, or maybe because I miss the accolades I used to get from colleagues and clients. But I can say with absolute certainty: the most rewarding things I’ve done have happened at home. It’s witnessing the pride on my daughter’s face when I give her praise. It’s the excitement in her eyes when we have lunch picnics in the front yard or build princess castles out of play-dough. My attention tells her that she is worthy of my time, that she is a valuable person – and that is invaluable.
We share moments of laughter that bring us to tears. Each milestone they reach fills me with pride. And so often, when I feel weary, my two year old throws her arms around me in an unsought embrace to say, “I love you, Mommy” – just because. In those moments, my empty cup refills.
If I do nothing else with my grown up years, If I never win another account or design another building, I’ll have had the most important job there is – shepherding little hearts to become the best they can be.
At the end of each day, when everyone is tucked in, and the home we’ve worked so hard to provide is quiet & dark, my heart is full. We’ve made it; this is it. This home, full of crazy love, is exactly where I want to be when I finally grow up.
“Your greatest contribution to the Kingdom of God may not be something you do, but someone you raise” – Andy Stanley
Proverbs 22:6 Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.