I've been thinking a lot today.
We've had Stuart's sister and brother-in-law and their 3 children here last night and today (a lovely stay, btw) and it's caused me to really ponder some things. See these little poppets below?
I know this will sound crazy, but it's just hit me that they're actually going to grow up and be adolescents and then adults someday not too far away. Of course I already knew this, but it's SO easy to get caught up in the day-to-day run of chores and discipline and just getting things done around the home, that I forget the job of parenting is to raise little ones all the way up into their young adulthood. Aggghhh!!! This is freaking me out a little.
Our sister Wendy's children are 10, 13 and 15. Having them stay really opened my eyes to some of the challenges ahead as the children get bigger. Our neice and nephews are gorgeous kids, loving and quirky and full of life just like mine. :) But they're not little anymore! They're big kids, with opinions and ideas and an independence all of their own. It struck me that although the stage of parenting I'm at, with the long long days and dirty nappies and wakeful babies etc. is exhausting, it may actually be simpler in some ways than the years in front of us! This is an amazing thought. I've always assumed it would get easier......... but at least right now, the children are here, home with me most of the time. They trust me. They respect me. They think their father and I can do absolutely anything!! And that's great- I love it because it's entirely not true! :)
I think the thing I've realised most this weekend is that I yearn to have the same closeness with my kids in 10 years time that I have now. I don't know if it will happen, but I'll keep aiming for it. 15 is a hard age to be. Saraya will be 15 in 10 years! I remember being 15 and it was awful. full of challenges, every day. I want her to trust me and I want to be her confidante then, as I am now.
SO, having said all this and rambled quite enough, I'll suffice to say that in the coming weeks I'm really going to focus on my relationships with my children. I will discipline them when it's necessary, but will aim to keep the rest of the constant comments of "training" to a minimum. You know the ones......... "Please chew with your lips closed", "Don't pick Will up like that", "Guys, I've told you to play quietly when you're inside", " Sit up straight on your chair", "I wish you would just for once listen to me!!!" etc. etc. I'm going to try to say what's important, then replace the rest with some words of affirmation because I really think they need them! I'm going to aim to spend a bit of one-on-one time with each of them every day. I will hug them more, and stop and listen first before I launch into yet another talk about what's appropriate or inappropriate. They are gifts from God, and I want them to KNOW for sure and for certain how treasured they are to me!!
I'll let you know how things go. I'm excited and looking forward to a happy Sabbath tomorrow and a good week ahead. I wish you the same as you head into yours! :)