Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The End of an Era. . . probably.

I have, aside from a two week stint right before the birth of my youngest child, changed diapers from the fall of October 2004 until February 18th, 2014.  If I add up the days, I have changed diapers for about 3,417 days.  That is nine and, roughly, a half a year of changing diapers.  Sometimes I just had one baby to change.  For about a year, I had three kids in diapers at one time.  I think back to that and wonder at how I did anything at all?  I was nursing a baby and changing diapers all the time!

I nursed all my kids too----I figured that I nursed babies for about 5 years total.  Nursing, changing, rocking, dishes, laundry, cheerios, sweeping and sweeping the floor, sippy cups, milk allergies, fructose allergies, doctors appointments, pregnancies. . . .

Well, the last Stotler child, unless God should do things differently than we have planned for, is now potty trained.  And it is the end of an era.

My parenting is changing.  I am seeing a tiny bit about how God designed it, a little better than I could see it before.  When I was younger I needed all that energy to endure the interrupted sleep, the carrying of the kids around everywhere, the non-stop movement required when a little one starts walking, or putting things in their mouths, or is running toward your couch with an ink pen. 

Now it is refereeing---or it could be. It is teaching self-control, and worse yet, it is modeling self-control. It is teaching by BEING.  And as hard as diapers were, this is a different kind of hard.  Is it as physically and mentally taxing as days on end of baby care?  No, it is not.  But it is a drive -you-to-your-knees, seek-God kind of hard.

My kids are like little flower buds now, when one leaf is just starting to open.  I can get a little glimpse of what is inside there, what color it is, or the scent, but I can't fully see the flower because it isn't fully opened yet.  And I have to help take care of the flower so that it blooms in the right way.

And this is terrifying.

Without God's help and wisdom, I will fail in this endeavor.  Yes, parents:  without His wisdom, you will fail in this effort.  And you can be a child of God, and still fail, if you don't instill His wisdom in your children.  But to instill it, you have to have it too.  So this season requires less sleep, because I should be praying and studying more.  And it requires a quiet physical stamina to "do the right thing" at all times-----and no cup of coffee is going to make that happen.

So it is a bittersweet end.  But I am looking forward to this new "season".  I would be lying if I say I don't daydream, and sometimes hold in my mind, each of my "babies" from time to time.

And my youngest might forever bathe in Johnson&Johnson.

No bottles, no bibs, no sippy cups,

No more diapers, just Pull-Ups.

Wet wipes now used only on faces,

No planning naps around going places.

No more Gerber Puffs or jars,

You’ve moved on to trucks and cars,

How in the world can it be

My last baby has turned three!

No struggle to understand your words,

No worry that you won’t be heard.

Growing up quicker than the others,

(Need to keep up with your brothers).

Get your own snack and pick up your toys?

You’ve learned much faster than the other boys!

Time creeps quietly and steals away

Pieces them, day by day.

My motherhood is changing too,

We get more sleep, and there’s less. . . ewwww.

Lots to teach and lots to learn

My rank, I find, I have to earn.

So get your blankie, and climb on my lap

And let me rock you for a rare nap.

The laundry can wait, and supper can too

For I just want to cuddle with you.

The day is coming when you’ll prefer another,

And I learned by raising the others---

That one day I’ll wake inside and yearn

To hold the baby you once were. 

Many changes coming to me----

My little one is wonderful three. 
 --Sandra Stotler

May God richly bless you in your season of parenting.  Love to you all on this fine day.

1 comment:

  1. Such a bittersweet feeling; thanks for putting it into words. Hope all is well out west. You are loved and missed! JR