You know, it occurred to me yesterday what all these changes are in my relationship with Jeremiah... He's just growing up. It sounds so simple, I know, but as a first time mom it's hard to move out of that baby stage!
But he's not a baby anymore. He's not my baby. I don't feel this overwhelming urge to protect him from the world. He's almost two, and he's a big boy, and I've been feeling a little differently about things lately. I've been wanting him to experience things. If he gets hurt, that's okay (as long as it's within limits, of course!). If he gets his feelings hurt, it's not the end of the world. If he cries when I put him in time-out, so be it. If he whines when I tell him "No", the world won't end.
It's like I've shifted from protecting him from the world, and now my job is to help him learn how to navigate in this world. To give him enough space to make mistakes and learn, but still keep him safe enough. What a big transition for me! I've felt secretly guilty, like I love him less or something, but now I understand that my job as his mother is changing, and that our relationship is growing up right along with him.
But it's hard to let go! And oh-my-goodness, I love that kid. Not less than I did 20 months ago when he was born, but definitely different. And I have so much more respect for motherhood - only moms know what love feels like, I think. In all of the different facets and stages. How love can be different and still okay. How it's not measured as much in quantity, or even quality - maybe more in durability! How much love it takes to make him sit in time-out, even when he's crying big tears and calling out my name... How a hug and a kiss and a smile from him can warm me up from the inside out... How all I want at the end of a the day is a sticky, dirty hand holding mine as he asks me to "READ book... one more... PEAS!" (translation: I know I have your heart wrapped around mine... especially when I say "peas"!).
What a blessing, what a miracle from the Lord. Words could never express the depths of my gratitude to God for giving me this little boy - my miracle. And I'm starting to glimpse how wonderful this journey is going to be! Things have already changed so much, and we have another lifetime to go! I just pray that God will keep reminding me to treasure every single second of my time with him, because it's passing so, so quick - and I pray, too, for the strength to keep up and finish the race. To keep working hard at being a good mom and raising him up to be a man of God. It will be here before I know it! (And you know what? I think a part of me will always feel that he's my little booger bear - but don't tell him that!).
Jeremiah - Mommy loves you BUNCHES!!!!