I like to browse Target, alone. I don't usually buy much because I'm trying to live for less. But there's something about just wandering the aisles, letting my eyes take in what they like. I've been taking a picture anytime something strikes my fancy, instead of buying it. Is this wrong? Maybe. But this is also another sign I'm in my 30's, I don't feel the need to explain myself constantly or buy a bunch of cheap stuff I don't need. Anyway, I'm straying from the point. I noticed on a recent blissful trip to Target that I kept seeing the most awesome hand-lettered items with the words "Stay little forever" or "Don't grow up".
This repeated message made me think.
It immediately made me daydream and drift back to the days when I truly had two babies, the girls born just seventeen months apart. I feel like what I traded in those days I'm getting back now. What I mean is, there were often days and weeks that were just plain hard, trying to juggle two little ones at once. But now I get to watch the girls be absolute best friends. They spend 99% of their day together and usually happily. Do I miss them being little? Sometimes. Because babies are just wonderful! I miss the snuggles the most.
But I can honestly say something that isn't talked about enough is how great growing up is. My girls are my buddies, from joining me in the kitchen to running errands and walking through the store, cart not needed. Mostly what I remember in the past hearing or reading (especially on social media) was that just wait until they're grown a bit more, your life will become so consumed with busyness, the parenting problems stacking up and even harder than figuring out how to change a dirty diaper in a parking lot.
There is some truth to that. It's certainly harder to explain BIG life stuff to my five-year old than it was to wrangle a diaper on her in the back of the car. But I truly don't wish for my girls to stay little forever. This growing up stuff is great in a way I didn't know existed. I get to watch them write their names on Valentine's, bravely walk on stage with their school parade, and watch their personalities come alive. They are so alive, these two girls of mine! They bring a new kind of life to my life that I didn't realize when they were babies.
All this to say I'm left wondering today if the best solution is to grow-up, but keep a childlike faith and heart. The best of both worlds, don't you think?
All that busyness and chaos and hardness of parenting? It's real. But a lot of that I'm learning, is how much I let those things take over my life and mind. I kind of hand the control over sometimes to stress and worry and anxiety. And then parenting feels like the message all the naysayers preach.
Let's choose a different message instead. Yes, the little years are golden. But so are the bigger "little years". Let's focus on the rosy in our routine, whatever it may happen to be. For me, that's delighting in reading just one more I Spy book, trips to the library, cooking with my girls, tight hugs and squeezes, letting the girls pick their clothes, gardening, and being amazed together with my girls at the bright, BIG world God has placed us in.