While Sarah and Brent were gone last weekend Ephraim and I had lots of together time. It’s so fun to be with each of our children alone. So many of the normal behavior issues we struggle with vanish when they don’t feel like they have to compete with each other for our attention. On Sunday morning before church Ephraim and I took advantage of our time together and grabbed a quick self timer shot before heading out the door. Then he took advantage of the fact that his only parent at church was practicing with the praise band and he ate two cupcakes before I even noticed. But that’s a whole ‘nother story.
The real story here is that when I look at this picture I see a mama who is starting to hit her stride. And I don’t say that in a braggy way. I say that in a “you mean you’ve been a mama for 7 years and you’re just now hitting your stride?!” sort of way. By my count we’re about a third of the way through this kids-at-home stage which means I’m on roughly mile 9 of my marathon. Um, that’s kind of a long time to find your rhythm. Or maybe not. Maybe it’s normal. I have no actual marathon to compare it to.
See, here’s the thing. I’ve spent the last seven years faking it, hoping to make it. One of my biggest complaints about motherhood (besides how complicated car seats have to be) has been that there’s just not a yard stick that tells you how you’re doing. There’s no mid-year assessment. When my children were babies I thought they’d either “turn out” or they wouldn’t – like a souffle or something. And you didn’t really get to find out until that souffle had baked for a good 18 years and you took it out of the oven, hoping it hadn’t fallen.
But now I think I’ve changed my mind. Today on the phone I told Brent how good and kind and responsible these kiddos are. And I think he was taken aback. I’ve spent so much time worrying over their sass, their sugar addictions, or the ongoing battle over folding the napkins that I think I might have surprised him with my gushing. But as I look at these little human beings we’re raising I can’t help but feel sudden and overwhelming pride at who they are right now. No mile marker needed.