"Tomorrow when I wake up, I won't be your baby girl anymore!!" I looked down at Chloe so excited by her revelation, that apparently once you're four you are no longer a baby, and tried to smile back at her, knowing she had no idea that her declaration had felt like a kick to the stomach.
How is it possible that my baby, the youngest of my three, is not a baby. That no one needs me to change a diaper, zip a zipper, or rock them to sleep. I have lived through a season of firsts, followed by a season of lasts, quickly, and always followed by another season of firsts.
Is it normal to feel a bit out of sorts, to be completely aware that I am still so very needed (all day, everyday, mommy!!) and yet be far enough in to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and not be sure which way I want to walk? I know what you're thinking, just wait till your youngest is 14, or 40, this is nothing. But I have loved these years of the babies and toddlers, and I have perhaps just a little forgotten how to be myself without a baby on my hip.
So there is a part of me, maybe a large part, that wants more children simply because: I can do this. I know how to rock and soothe and get up in the middle of the night. I know how to hold hands and read books and snuggle. And yet my Father in heaven always seems to want me to depend on Him, who knows when I finally make it to "I can do this!," I have lost sight of the grace giver, forgetting anything good in me is all gift. Instead he seems to always be asking me to do those things that I have no idea how to do on my own. Like the first time I held each of my children, I remember feeling myself lean completely into Him and let go, the sheer terror of my helplessness made it easy.
So maybe that means He asking me to mother children who argue and fight and get in trouble at school, children that make me fall to my knees at the end of the day and beg God to fix everything I surely did wrong. Or maybe it has something to do with my husband's new found passion for teens in the foster system. Maybe it has something to do with my passion for spending time with the younger women from my Bible study. Or, maybe not, God is not so much for giving us a detailed picture of the future. He knows that our faith is made perfect in weakness, that we are quick to take over the reigns, and pat ourselves on the back for accomplishments that we have nothing to do with.
If I slow down and listen to the quite voice inside myself I realize, maybe that's it: the reason I have loved these years and my longing for them to stay, has less to do with diapers and loss of sleep, and more to do with how they have reminded me, daily, often hourly, of how very much I need my savior.