Inspired by something my cousin wrote, I thought I'd look back and see what I have learned in the last ten years. In 2010 I had five children ages 10-3. It was my favorite stage of motherhood! I had no diapers to change and no teenagers to manage. We were still homeschooling at the time and I was in my element. I was happy.
|not quite 10 years later, hard to get a family shot with John gone|
Fast forward ten years and I'm back to changing diapers and have multiple teenagers in the house. I'm still happy. But I'm different, too. Many experiences in the last ten years have shaped me to be something (or someone) I never quite expected. We talk about our children "adulting," but the older I've gotten the less I know what that means. I guess I expected that when I turned 40 I'd feel like I'd arrived to real adulthood. In all honesty, I only see much more life to live and more lessons to learn up ahead. I'm not sure I'm ready for it because that's the first thing I've learned:
Lesson #1: Learning can be painful.
Some of our most valuable lessons are learned through pain, heartache, and struggle. I guess that's my least favorite part of being an adult, is recognizing that when you take a risk it could lead to pain rather than being some thrilling adventure. In this I've learned (am still learning) not to be afraid of that pain. Mortality is meant to be a struggle otherwise we wouldn't have the law of opposition or a desire to reach up and out for guidance and comfort.
Lesson #2: Don't forget to do what you love.
Childhood is such a beautiful time. It's a time to explore different things, learn new talents, and discover what you love. Somewhere between childhood and adulthood it becomes less important or valued to keep expanding on the things you discovered in those early years. For example, I was just reading in my journal that during girls camp I missed two things: my parents and the piano. I'd forgotten I loved the piano as much as I did when I was young. I'm starting to play more again and loving it. Don't forget what you love to do and don't forget to make time to do it!
Lesson #3: Kids really do grow up fast!
One thing I really, really love is motherhood! Despite that great love, I heard all the time, "Just enjoy them while they're young, it goes so fast." I remember those kind words and thinking, "I do enjoy them. What are you talking about?" Now I get it. Once the kids hit about age 15, time speeds up so much that you can hardly catch a breath. And the closer you have them together, the sooner they all leave. I didn't think about that so much with my first five being born within a 7 year span. They will be gone so fast. And yet it's also super fun to watch them grow up and become their own people.
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"You learn something out of everything, and you come to realize more than ever that we're all here for a certain space of time, and, and then it's going to be over, and you better make this count."
- Nancy Reagan -