Watching Grass Grow

Her shoulders are sun-kissed from the blazing sun.

Her nose bares tiny new freckles.

The sparkle in her eyes speaks of stories I'll never hear.

The new confidence in her stride declares a change.

I spent 84.5 hours away from my oldest child. The longest separation for both of us.

I wasn't there to help her fix her hair. I wasn't there to monitor her decisions. I wasn't there.

But she didn't need me to control every choice. She didn't need me to parent every moment.

She grew in my absence. 

And this is just the beginning. 

Parenting is a lot like gardening. We prepare the soil purposefully. We tend the plants carefully. We watch prudently. We protect from weeds actively. 

But we don't see the daily growth.

Until we step away.


Amanda said...

Okay, so I have tears in my eyes. Watching my babies grow like weeds is heart wrenching. I love the little people they're turning into, but I'm going to miss the sweet, innocent souls that they are now.

We literally have to treasure every, single moment with these kids, because we blink and it's gone - they'll be blogging about their kids.

Brooke said...

oh this is so fitting for me right now. I just sent my oldest off to church camp this week and she gets back this afternoon! I can't wait to see and hear how she's grown!

Kimberly said...

Aubrey, our oldest, is in this same stage. I looked back the other day at the pictures we took just before her first day of Kindergarten.....she grew so much in that year. She just has that look of a little lady innocent.... She is growing so quickly, I need to remember to cherish each second!

blessedpath said...

How beautiful!! I really enjoy your blog and check it daily!!! There are days where we think, when will it end....but I dread the day that they leave the nest!

Stephanie said...

So I know this is what we are supposed to do, but why is it so hard... There are days when I just want time to stand still.

nikkit3 said...

typing through tears! beautifully written!
My almost 8yo ds is @ scout camp this week. Dad had to go w/ him this year, but next year he can go alone. I'm not ready for that!

Lori said...

What a lovely posting!

amanda said...

Beautiful post. My daughter is only 19 months but I already can't remember her as a baby!! Time goes by so fast.

southerninspiration said...

In ten years, you'll be saying the same thing...where'd my baby go??? It's hard to watch them become independent, but it's much better than the alternative!!! When she's 18 you won't want her to be needing you for every little thing! Enjoy the days!


Lori said...

Oh how true it is.

Bridget said...

Oh, that's so hard. I'm sure when they are teenagers we'll want to let them go most of the time ;), but now...I just want to freeze time.

Just Breathe said...

Beautiful words.

Staci said...

You really know how to make a mom tear up! I have a teen girl(14) and 20 month old twins. It is so hard seeing my 14 yr grow up. I find myself holding the babies just a little tighter knowing they will be teens one day!
Enjoy every second!

Maureen at IslandRoar said...

It is so true. My 21 year old son comes home from college and his neck is a little thicker, his shoulders a little broader. There is always something different, even as we blink.
Beautifully put. Thanks!

Kristen said...

such a beautiful post! I spent two week every summer at camp and loved it! What a great experience for her. Just found your blog also and wanted to say hi!

Shara said...

Very well said!

And the stepping away part is definitely the hardest. That's where I am right now.

Monica said...

Just beautiful. Sounds like you are pretty good with the whole mom thing!

Tonya McMurray said...

Love this post!! There are so many times I think my oldest won't quite be able to make it without me or will struggle greatly -- and she's always fine. In fact, sometimes, she does better without me around to lean on. But it's sooooo hard to let go and let her give it a try on her own.

Adventure Mom Janna said...

Thanks for the reminder that I won't always have to do everything for me daughter who is now 1.

We always think we want something until we get it. I couldn't wait to wean and now I'm sad about it!

"Children hold our hands for a moment but our hearts for a lifetime."

Sandy Toes said...

Beautifully written.
sandy toe

Patti said...

Reminded me of my discussion with my 18 y.o. son about "graduating" from the youth group. He feels like there is no place for him at church now especially on Wed. nights. I reminded him that, as an adult, he is being treated as such. All that is available for an adult at church is open to him. He can worship & study in Prayer Meeting or volunteer in AWANA or as a leader in the youth group. Even as they grow the mothering doesn't stop, just changes.

I hug them so tightly having seen how quickly they grow. Surely it was only yesterday when I got frustrated at having to tie his shoes AGAIN. I so miss that sweet boy batting his long eyelashes at me & would not complain to tie those little shoes today but oh, how I love the man he is growing into.

Patti said...

Maybe I should mention that I just sent my 3 youngest off on a church sponsored mission trip & with my oldest working as mission staff in KY for the summer, I'm childless for a whole week.

I do not like the empty nest.
"Lord, prepare me for when it is the real thing."

Hillcrest Cottage said...

I have loved reading all the comments to your post. It is amazing to see how quickly the hearts of moms everywhere are touched by their children growing and becoming.My own included!
I am reminded as my years as a mom with guys at home are winding down (sending the middle son to college this Aug.) that *I* must continue to grow and become as well. It is my strongest encouragement to myself to always be growing, be interesting and interested in new things continually.

thatgirlblogs said...

my oldest (13) has been at camp for a week and will be home in an hour. am afraid to see the changes. she keeps reminding me that I need to save for college... but if she goes to college? that's really the end, isn't it? sigh.

Anne said...

Beautifully said!

Mrs. Querido said...

You brought a lump to my throat...

I look back on pictures and wonder where all that cute babyishness went. It is a privelege to watch them become who God has for them to be, but I sometimes miss the little babies they once were.

I suppose it is harder because I know I won't be having more babies. My first baby is almost 7, my second is 5 and my last baby is almost grass feels like it is growing a little faster these days :)

grannyann said...

You are right. Great post.

Happy said...

I love your ability to be bone ticklingly funny and then tear jerkingly sentimental. Great post.

And so true.

mamaK said...

Love this post. My oldest is two and everyday I realize that I'm called to let him go a little bit more...makes my heart ache and excites me at the same time...what a blessing it is to be able to watch them grow!

honeysuckle said...

Very sweet post, and so true! Treasure the memories every day.

Anonymous said...