Moms of littles, can I tell you something?
It will still be hard.
I know you don’t believe me.
For YEARS I heard moms of older kids say things to me like, “You think that’s hard, just wait until he…” and I would always make rationalizations in my head like At least you are getting a full night’s sleep or At least now he dresses himself and poops in the toilet or At least he doesn’t throw himself on the floor and pitch a fit in Target.
But guess what??
They were RIGHT. It is still SO HARD.
I don’t know why I’m telling you this. I guess I’m trying to save you the shock.
Because right now, your little ones are home safe and sound in their beds on a Saturday night.
Right now, your little ones think pizza and movie night with Mommy and Daddy is an exciting Saturday night.
And right now, your little ones aren’t off doing something all by themselves at 9pm on a Saturday night while you realize, suddenly and somewhat shockingly, that he is ACTUALLY going to grow up.
Because that’s what happened to me last night on a Saturday night.
I watched the baby boy I birthed and nursed…
I watched the little boy I carried piggyback and snuggled goodnight…
I watched the tween I’ve cheered on at baseball games and basketball games…
I watched the teen I’ve loved for thirteen years…
I watched my Whole Entire Heart…
Head downtown to a haunted house at 9PM to meet up with his friends…all by himself on a Saturday night.
Oh sure, I’ve dropped him off before to a school dance or to a movie or to a shopping center in broad daylight or over to a friend’s house.
But this was different.
I tried to sound confident as he got out to wait for his friends at the gate amid THOUSANDS of other people in the pitch dark…
“Bye! Have a great time! Make good choices! Call me if you need anything!”
He smiled and waved with an “I’ll be fine mom. Love you” as he stepped from the safety of my car.
I felt like I was dropping off a toddler.
I tried not to hyperventilate. I tried not to play out a thousand scenarios of what could go wrong in my head. I tried to avert my eyes from the homeless shelter teeming with people loitering out front just four blocks away.
I resisted the urge to park the car and stalk him or text him incessantly about Were his friends there yet? or Were they still just standing in line? or Is everything going okay? or What are you doing now?
You guys, it was SO HARD!!
And I realized this is just the beginning of him really and truly GROWING UP!
Because next thing I know he’ll be in high school and driving and dating and heading off to college and starting a life of his own.
On his own.
This was the first of so many nights that I’ll just have to trust what an intelligent and responsible kid he is and what an amazing young man he is becoming.
I’ll have to trust that God is guiding his path. Every step.
I’ll have to TRUST.
Last night was the first of MANY nights I’ll spend waiting for him to come home…safe and sound on a Saturday night.
But you know what? It isn’t all bad news. It isn’t just hard. It is GOOD, too.
Because he did it! And he had a wonderful time. I could tell by the look on his face he felt proud and grown up. He sat up with us then for another half an hour or so talking and laughing and telling us about his night and recounting the events of his basketball game earlier in the evening.
No one prepared me for that either.
No one told me how absolutely amazing it is to sit talking and laughing with your Whole Heart next to you on the couch…watching him become a confident young man right before your eyes.
Moms, it is hard today. It will be hard tomorrow, too. Different hard.
But we really can do HARD things.
And it is so GOOD.
We just have to trust.