"Every day they become less dependent on you." A great and wise friend said this to me recently as I was bemoaning the tremendous burden of raising two very small children with a husband who is away more than half the year. "It may seem tough now, but someday soon you will ache for these days" says another wise friend. I know they are so correct and WILL myself to be filled with patience as I change the third soiled outfit of the morning, and explain for the thousandth time that Daddy is at work and won't be home until Saturday.
Parenthood has changed me. It's wonderful gift to be challenged with the task of raising human beings. "Don't screw it up!" I keep reminding my self! There was no jarring life affirming moment which showed me the change within, but rather the changes in myself are small, tiny increments of change, a pinch of kindness here, a dash of loving there that didn't exist before I was a parent. Learning from this process of raising children is where I have gained the most ground as a human: learned to be more compassionate, patient, and freely giving of my love.
I've stopped blurting out whatever snarky comments come to my mind. I'm more thoughtful with the words I choose, the tone I use and the presentation of my observations to a three year old. What a wonderful challenge, I tell myself every day. Being a parent is not like a project at work,which has a beginning, middle and end. Its an ongoing lecture in a classroom with a revolving door. I can exit the classroom, checkout and just pray for the toddler years to pass me by quickly. Or, I can grab a seat in the front row, take notes and ask questions. And why not give my children all I have at this tender young age? After all it's only a matter of time before they are pushing me away, eager to go and learn on their own the ways of the world.