The Thing About Young Children

This is the thing about young children.

They talk and talk and talk your ear off with what feels like noise and nonsense, until you realize you are witnessing the growth of their imagination, the revelation of their personality, the purest testimony of what is by and large still an unstained world, the development of their thought processes, and the echoing of what goes on in their lives. God help me not to wish for so much silence.

They cling and cling and cling to you to the point you want to shake them off. And then you realize the toddler is no longer that newborn who once fit on your chest for the sweetest naps, all new baby smells and little fingers instinctively wrapping around yours, claiming you as her very own. You realize the toddler is increasingly interested in others’ affection in addition to – or in competition with – your own. You realize the day is coming way too fast when you will reach for them and they will push you away, and your heart will ache for those days of innocence. You will wish for a different, less selfish heart for that frazzled young mother so that she will see what a fleeting gift these days are. God help me not to wish for so much freedom.

They watch and watch and watch you to the point where you are humbled by what they see. In their eyes, you are strong and heroic and lovely, when you feel anything but. You can snap in frustration and they will still come back to hug your legs, their unbridled forgiveness washing over all your self-induced guilt. They see you, the imperfect mom that no public eye sees in all the smiling selfies, yet they wait with pure faith and hope for you to come back to your senses. You may go to bed feeling terrible about that one impatient moment or your inability to give all the attention and play they clamored for, but in the morning you are still Mommy who lights up their eyes and fills their arms with a new embrace for a new day. The grace is so abundant it is almost inconceivable, but it is real, and it is your healing. God thank You for the grace of my young children.

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