These little faces, I just want to drink them in and never let them go. I don’t want them to grow up. I want to freeze these moments forever. I want to watch their imaginations at work. I want them to peek around their blankets when they get up. I want them to always squeal and come running, arms out, when I walk in the door from work. I want them to want to hug me. I know that won’t last forever, so I want to feel it all now, while they’re willing to do it over and over.
I want to watch their delight as they discover something new. I want to watch them fall in love with the same teams I love. I want them to ask me again what food I want to order as I hand them pretend money and watch them go off to ring it up at the play cash register, thinking about nothing else in the world other than what’s happening in the movie in their mind. I want to answer their questions. I want to watch them play together, see who leads, who creates, who follows, who loves the group, who loves being alone. I want to watch them fight with light sabers. I want to make it all better with a Band-Aid. I want to lay in bed with them before they go to sleep, when sometimes they just start talking about real things, things that just come bubbling out of their minds. I want to wrestle all over the floor. I want them to light up when I pay attention to them. I want them to cackle like crazy when they steal my shoes and run away right before I try to put them on.
I also want them to go to bed. I want them to not repeat the same question 10,000 times. I want them to stop yelling and pushing each other. I want them to not pull my shower curtain back. I want them to stay in bed for the night. Seriously. Just get back in bed. I want them to go number two by themselves. I want their number one to always go in the potty. I want them to buckle themselves in the car seat. I want them to not drop their bowl full of cereal on the floor. I want them to sleep in.
I want to not be exhausted when we finally, finally pull out of the driveway. I want them to not ALWAYS BE HUNGRY. I want them to pick up their toys, make their beds, put their dirty clothes in the hamper. I want them to quit jumping on me. I want them to obey their mother. I want them to not leave their toys in the backyard when it rains. I want them to stop shifting the blame. I want them to figure it out on their own. I want them to sit still – just for five minutes – when we try to read and pray. I want them to look me in the eye. I want them to tell me who did it. I want them to just give me my shoes already when I’m late getting out the door. I want them to grow up.
Two sets of wants. We think raising kids should be entirely the first set. But it’s not. Not even close. Some days you pretty much live in the second set. That’s just reality.
God knows that. That’s why it’s not about what I want. It’s about what He wants. It’s about this heritage he’s given us. It’s about these little arrows in our hands, and how we can shoot them out for his glory.
So I’ll work on squashing my too-quick-to-surface annoyance when the second set of wants rears its head. I’ll concentrate on the first set of wants.I’ll point them to the grace that is greater.
And I will drink those faces in … right after I change a stinky. Hold on.