I foolishly thought, when I stopped having children, my family was done growing. But my family is growing: taller, heavier, louder. It was painfully apparent during Christmas break that my kids are taking up a lot more space than their younger selves. We long outgrew cuddling on a couch and now we can't even squish onto two couches; we can barely crowd into one room! What would have once been a rough house game in the middle of the carpet now spreads across the entire house, even at times spilling outside. Silly giggles are replaced by hearty laughter and playful taunts. We are already developing long-lasting inside jokes, the sort that carry into adulthood and make family reunions complete.
I have lost my "young mother of young children" status. This year my oldest has left Primary and my youngest has entered. I am actually sitting through entire Sacrament meetings again. I'm even able to pay attention to speakers! Each week as I observe my family spread down the aisle (each with their differing levels of attentiveness), I am forced to admit that my kids are getting older. As I look in the mirror I am forced to admit the same about myself. Just when did that wrinkle go from seen-when-smiling to permanently-there?
I must admit I woke up the other day in a panic. Years of parenting have been spent. What if I'm wrong? What if I should have been a helicopter parent after all or I have a fatal blind spot allowing major problems to fester for years unseen? If I've been very slightly off course for YEARS how far off will I have dragged my children? By the time I notice could it be too late to correct? HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO NOTICE ANYWAY?
Then I remember. The Lord sent me my children and it is my calling to be their mother. I have done the best I can, I continue to do so. After all, I can only offer my best and trust the Lord will magnify it to be enough. I will continue to pray for guidance and try to do better. And I will continue to watch in amazement as my family grows in ways I never imagined.
And I will use that recently bought eye serum every night, too. Just because I've lost my young mother status, doesn't mean I have to have too many wrinkles, right?