I tend to keep my emotions bottled up inside, hesitant to let them out. This is one of the many reasons I'm glad I married an attentive husband who knows how to pry me open when he senses something is going on inside of me. I usually just try and power through sad or painful emotions and deal with them in the protective solitude of my own mind (or pillow). I just have never been one to cry, whether it be at happy beginnings or sad endings.
Today, I cried.
And let me just tell you up front that nothing tragic has happened. No one is hurt or ill. No, this was a different type of sadness. You see, I cried on the way home from preschool pick-up. This is the last week of school and we have been enjoying year-end picnics, performances, and fun with friends and teachers. Today was a great day. I took Luke to the doctor for his 3 year old check up and he is doing great: strong, big, and healthy. I then went to preschool for the triplets' year-end picnic. We watched the kids ride bikes, ate lunch and popsicles, laughed, and got to present their awesome teachers with some much deserved gifts and recognition.
So why the crying?
After we packed up the bikes and picnic blankets and got everyone settled and buckled in their car seats, I just couldn't hold it in any more. I cried because it is ending, because it is going too fast. I know my kids are only preschoolers, but they are rapidly maturing before my eyes. Every day it seems they are taller, or smarter, or more independent. I cried because this sweet, precious time with them is like water through a sieve. With each year that passes I know they will be growing further from me and closer to a life of independence, a life of their own. I know I'll still be a part of their lives, I just won't BE their life anymore, not like I am right now, and that makes me ache inside. Don't get me wrong, I want them to grow up into strong and independent individuals ... I just had no idea it would go this fast.
I love my kiddos just the way they are right now. I love their sweet preschool and the great teachers there. I love our church and our small group and the people that make us feel welcome whenever we walk in the door. Life is too good right now, and I want to hit the pause button and feel like this for a long time. But I know that it's impossible. Children grow, people change, relationships sour and soon we will not be in this place anymore. But those times, the times when life's not looking too good, those are the times that teach me to savor times like the one I am in right now. I know that I'm able to be happy now because of hardships and tumult I've faced in the past. Happiness is necessitated through growth and the growing pains that often come with that stretching.
So today, I let loose and cried. I cried because I could see a little curly-haired blond ponytail in my rear view mirror. I cried because, right now, the best part of my son's day was getting to eat a blue popsicle. I cried because the biggest trauma of the morning was a freshly band-aided skinned knee. I cried because all of this will be different in a very short time. Curls will drop, friend's opinions will matter much more than mine, and children will become teenagers and then adults. I am simply trying to savor each moment because I know it will never be this way again ... not next year, not next month, not even next week. I cried because I love my kids, and I've known them less than five years. Just imagine the tears when we've been through ten, fifteen, or twenty years together! Growth hurts, but it is so beautiful at the same time. And I'm willing to make that sacrifice for my kids - I'll trade ya a few growing pains for four budding, beautiful little lives. Just pass me that box of tissues ...