Awhile back we went over to a friend’s house to celebrate the first birthday of our little boy. They – meanwhile – are enjoying their last year with their son. He’s a senior in high school, and they only have a short while left before he goes off to school and starts the next chapter of his life.
We chatted and watched the two high school boys joke around with one another as their sixth grade daughter ran all around the house after our little man.
“Enjoy it,” my friend said.
“Oh, you know I am,” I replied.
“No, really. It goes by so fast, even when you think you’re enjoying it.”
That’s when I realized – raising kids is bittersweet.
Here sits a good mom friend of mine. Truth be told, she’s a mom I look up to and admire. She’s one I turn to for advice on a regular basis. She has wisdom that only comes with age. Yet even as a SAHM herself, she knows I am not enjoying it as much as I should. She fully realizes how quickly they grow, and she’s trying to warn me.
We put all this work into our kids, only to watch them grow up and leave us. Yes, that’s obviously what we want and expect to happen, but it’s still hard. That’s what makes it bittersweet.
They were just babies. Then they were crawling, walking, and running before we knew what happened. Next thing they’re going off to school. And pretty soon we’re going to be watching them walk across the stage at their high school graduation.
Maybe that’s why I have teared up at every wedding and graduation I’ve been to since little J was born. I realize that I’ll be watching him do these huge life events sooner than I realize.
Raising kids is bittersweet. They just grow and change so much. Sometimes we want to keep them little forever, but we know the best thing for them is to grow up and become the successful adults that God intended them to be.
And I hear people say it all the time – enjoy it. And I’m truly doing my best.
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