Our new MOPS (Mother of Preschoolers) Ministry year started yesterday which means I started my 10th year as a MOPS Mentor. Yesterday, as MOPS started again, I was reminded again of wonderful experience that being a Mom is and how I have now become…
That Woman in the Grocery Store
As a Mom you’ve experienced that woman in the grocery store, You know, that one that tells you to treasure every moment of your child’s life because it goes so fast. You smile and nod as you take the candy out of your crying child’s fist and you think that this woman has no idea how crazy your days are. At this point, you have given up on enjoying your child’s moments; you would like just to be able to enjoy a moment to yourself.
Lately, I have become that grocery store woman. As an empty nester now, I push my grocery cart alone and place adult items in it (for only my husband and me). I remember when my grocery cart was filled to the brim with school lunch box items and little ones that sat in the cart seat. My memories of grocery shopping with little children include a broken Mrs. Butterworth bottle (they use to be glass) spilling syrup and glass all over the floor, leaving a cart of groceries to take a child outside who needed to be disciplined and how the impulse items in the checkout line often caused tears. Sometimes they were my tears.
So if I remember how crazy it was to grocery shop with my children, why don’t I give you advice on how to grocery shop with children or better yet suggest a good babysitter? Why do I encourage you to enjoy these days of Mothering when it is obviously difficult? What is it about seeing a Mom with children (no matter what stage or mood they are in) that causes me to sigh and persuade you to treasure these days. Well, let me tell you …
It is because I have experienced the releasing stage of being a mom. My child rearing days are gone, my daughters are now on their own, married or in college, and starting their lives in the places God has called them.
It is not that I am unhappy in my life stage at this time, because I doing fine. I enjoy having time for relationships (coffee, anyone?), to study God’s words in quietness and to be with my husband on our own again. But, I miss the sweet tender moments of a home full of growing children who need to have books read to them with bedtime prayers. The mothering years go by so fast, that as I watch you in the grocery store, I marvel that this stage of my life is over. I want you to enjoy what I wish I would go back and experience again.
I am continually amazed at how fast those years of raising children fly by. It seems like I blinked and my babies were getting on the yellow bus and I blinked again and they were graduating from school. I am thankful for the times I took to treasure moments in a variety of ways (photos, journals, blogs and scrapbooks). I have treasured moments to recall and remember – these are a gift from God to a melancholy Mom.
So the next time you are in the grocery store and a woman tells you to treasure these days – smile at her and think of me. A middle age woman who still loves her calling as a Mom and occasionally misses her active mothering day. Then remind yourself that someday (sooner than you can imagine) your children will be grown and you will be telling a mom in the grocery store to treasure every moment…
“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12
How are you treasuring the moments of your children’s lives? Are you amazed at how fast our mothering journey goes?