Today, at approximately 5 AM, I turn 50 years old. I’ve had the privilege to walk this planet for half a century. One of my daughters made a card that said, “you are ½ way to 100”. My age would indicate that I might be living in that space between active parenting and delightful grand parenting. When my mom was this age, she already had 3 grandchildren and a number of empty nest years under her belt. There don’t appear to be grand children on my immediate horizon and at this age, I am still very much actively parenting. The pace is somewhat slower, but the job description still fits. It is an interesting space and time in life. My body is slowing and a bit heavier, but my spirit is lighter and freer.
To celebrate this milestone, I’ve spent some time reflecting on a few of the things I have learned in 25 years of parenting. The lessons are numerous and still being learned, almost daily. But it is always good to speak my learning out loud and in front of witnesses. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Each individual child is a unique soul from God. Having the privilege to teach, guide and watch them unfold is one of life’s greatest.
- Children need lots of fresh air and exercise – parents too.
- Some of the biggest crisis times are actually, in hindsight, some of the most intensely important and necessary times of growth for both parent and child.
- When things get too tense or crazy, dance – it breaks the tension and is good for a few eye rolls and laughs.
- No moment (problem, issue, mess up), no matter how overwhelming, lasts forever. Mercies are new every morning.
- The days can be long, but the years fly right by. Savor the moments.
- A slower than average paced life is quite satisfying and leaves lots of time for great conversation.
- Teenagers do grow up and often turn into delightfully wonderful adults.
- I very rarely pray about specifics for my children – I now figuratively place them in my hands, hold them up to God and trust them to his care. I often don’t have a clue what is best for someone else, even if they are my child.
- Hearing “I love you” from a child never gets old, no matter how old they get.
These are just a few of my favorite lessons from the school of motherhood. I hope for many more years of parenting, and someday, grandparenting. I’d love to hear some of the lessons others have learned as a parent or as a child– lessons big and small. Please indulge the birthday girl.