Days of Our Lives
As of this moment sitting at my computer, my husband and I have 839 days left with our oldest child. It sounds a bit fatalistic I know, but an 18 year old is an adult, right? So, my “child” will be no more in that span of time. The daily details might look similar, but the dynamic of our relationship will decidedly change forever.
This morning, I was prompted to count this out because yet another thing has come up in our parenting of him that was squarely in the un-fun category. In the midst of my prayer to ask Him what to do, I was suddenly cognizant of only 839 days. How large a number this final countdown seems, but how statistically infinitesimal it is when I really evaluate it in the scope of my life and my son’s.
I spent his first 365 days nursing him and rocking him to sleep and another 730 lying beside him as he drifted off. For 1,095 days he was mine and mine alone until he went off to be someone’s pupil for a handful of hours a week. He is now in the deepest throes of 5,840 days of being someone’s pupil for so much of his waking existence. I know exactly my reasons for not home-schooling him, but oh the thought of that time just in the same air space. The accumulation of minutes into hours into days spent making his meals, making his bed, making his tears go away, making him think about his choices, making sure he knew how desperately he is loved—I wouldn’t even be able to guess at that, but I don’t need to know the number to know its precious worth.
My son is close to 6 feet tall. He has to bend over to hug me—hugs that are never quite tight enough or long enough anymore. My memories of his small hand in mine, the sound of his voice in those years—those memories have dangerously fading edges. Kodak, do you truly understand the gift you have given mothers and fathers? We are so grateful. The days of parenting are often long and slow, but the swiftness of the years will astound you. Lord, please make the vestiges of my son’s childhood stretch for miles and pass at a snail’s pace.
So, at this point on my page as I write, my head has cleared and I can see this parenting thing in sharp contrast to where I started. It’s just a thing and it, too, shall pass. I don’t need to waste any more of my 839 days figuring out what to do because his heart is all that really matters. And I am fully qualified to care for that. After all, his heart has consumed my own for 5,693 days already and I don’t see that changing any time soon.
Written by Sonia Cleverly