Steve and I went to a backyard cookout with friends in Houston on Memorial Day. We flew down sans kids--our babes happily soaking in grandmother time as we happily reconnected for a few days.
We enjoyed celebrating the holiday with three other incredible families and their children: adorable sleeping babies, cute chubby-cheeked toddlers, and active, run-everywhere kindergartners. After we left that evening Steve and I once again had a realization:
We have entered a completely different season of parenting. We happened to be without kids that night, but even if they had been with us we wouldn't have wiped noses or changed diapers. Because our children are now eight, eight, and TEN.
That's right--Trishna reached doubledigits on May 22nd.
We have come a long way since she joined our family from India almost six years ago. I am so proud of this girl--who currently loves writing, stories, and light bulbs (yes, really).
Unless God places another child in our family, all our children will be adults in ten short years--our active parenting days over. It's a surreal feeling.
Intentional parenting starts out with a whole lot of work. Everything feels new, fresh, frightening, insecure. It takes a truckload of faith to listen to God's voice combined with your own, especially when those voices contradict the popular opinions of so-called "experts."
But I'm discovering that mindful parenting changes as the kids get older. Where my main role at one time involved sheltering, cocooning, and nurturing--this new one involves listening, opening doors, adventuring, and trusting.
And though this new phase--like any change--contains its own unique challenges, we also have the benefit of seeing some fruit from all the years of investment we've put in so far. We see a vision for our family beginning to take root, to grow, to create the family life we once imagined.
Watching our efforts in action gives courage for the journey ahead.
Happy birthday, Trishna. You are loved.