Can you hear it? The squeaking that the little wooden rocking chair makes when a child is rocking back and forth in it. The scratches and worn wood from all the sitting, standing, dragging and abuse the chairs took from little dirty hands pulling them to where they could best climb up on them to reach something up high. Can you feel it? The peaceful feeling of your little one snuggled up in your lap listening intently to every word of the story you read outloud. Can you remember? When you sat down in your rocking chair for the first time with that new born baby just a rocking away to soothe her cries. Can we go back? Each time I look at these little wooden rocking chairs that sit upon my front porch it is a gut wrenching reminder to me that only 2 of my 4 children can even sit in them. That they are growing older and I have to accept the growth.
My children are precious to me as I know yours are to each of you. We spin so quickly in this universe that we often don’t even know we are ever still. We were still once. Looking into their cribs when our babies were sleeping. We were still once. Our arms extended as they toddled to us about to fall with those awkard steps when they just learned to walk. We were still once. Witnessing them playing in the backyard with their siblings without fighting each other in perfect harmony. They are all still photographs in our minds, that we pray we never lose the negatives to.
As we move they move. As we grow they grow. This is how it should be and will be. We grow and mature and love more than yesterday. They grow, mature and love more than yesterday. We cannot have it back we can remember fondly and retell the stories for all time. We cannot stop the clock but we must embrace the growth and come to the acceptance that we grow as well and we as parents can learn from it all. We can learn how to hold on to the memories, how to embrace the moment, savor it and let it be what it is and how to love with an intensity we never knew existed before we became parents.
Today take that picture of the little rocking chairs and let it jog the photographs in your mind with your little ones. Cherish those memories. Reflect on who that child is today. Embrace the time you still have and love them like there will be no tomorrow with the depth of a parent. For that is how God loves us rocking us gently back in forth snuggled up in His great embrace in our own little rocking chairs. We love as we are loved.