Sunday, October 18, 2009

Joy in Stages

I really haven’t second guessed our prayerful, well-thought out decision not to have any more belly babies.  But this past month, those thoughts have been creeping back into my head and heart.  I love babies.  I always have.  And I’m glad I have a whole houseful of them.  Except they aren’t babies anymore.


The baby stage is so sweet and special.  The cuddling, the cuteness, the clothes.  I’ve even been missing breastfeeding a little which I swore I never would after breastfeeding the last three well past age one.  For some reason, looking back offers a filtered view.  There were a lot of wonderful and special times but the reality of those years also included sleeplessness, exhaustion, crying, mood swings, weight gain, fatigue.  You know I was just really tired and not myself for 10 years.


It hit home to me this weeks as I was getting ready to go with Jenna and Abby and some friends and their moms on an overnight trip.  We went to see the “Little House on the Prairie” musical at the Ordway, spent the night at my parents and did some shopping on Friday.  It was so much fun.  Did I mention that Melissa Gilbert was “Ma” in the play?  One of my friends almost started hyperventilating when she came on stage!  Although I do not drive an urban vehicle, I handled the big city driving really well and only drove into one parking ramp that I didn’t fit into and had to back out of. 

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We ate at a downtown Italian place where the parking lot attendant let me park in a handicap space.  My sister and her girls joined us for dinner and shopping.  We had our picture taken with the doorman at the Ordway.  But I think they had the most fun at Target.  Go figure.


The Ordway’s season theme is Joy. Centerstage.  I couldn’t help but making the cheesy connection that joy does come in stages.  My parents always told us that they never dreaded having teenagers.  There are good and difficult parts of every stage of parenting.  The key is to find the joy in every stage you are in.


I don’t want to spend these years wishing I could go back or wanting to fast forward.  I need to find the joy in right now before it’s too late.  The joy in taking off for a day with the older kids, being able to get out of the house without a nursing baby, going to camp without a stroller or pack and play and sleeping through the night.

I am glad to be able look back at the baby years with happiness and fondness.  I trust that the future will bring its share of joys and trials.  But I know that now is a very joyful place and I don’t want to miss it.

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Psalm 30:11

You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,

1 comment:

Deb Hansen said...

Michelle, I so understand what you were sharing. Each stage is a new season! Enjoy each one and find joy in it! I am finding joy in my season of the empty nest even though there are days my heart feels as if it will break thinking about all the wonderful memories I have had with Hannah. Now I find joy in watching her spread her wings and fly!

Hope you have a great week!