My youngest child turned 5 years old this week. My baby has somehow become this sweet, independent, intelligent, compassionate little girl. She is someone I delight to be around – not just because she’s my daughter but because of the person she has become!
These few weeks in May are big for this little girl – preschool graduation, dance recital, birthday parties, field trips, the last day of daycare. (And with that, mom and dad’s last day to drop off that check for all day child care!!) It makes me both reflective of her life and excited for what the years ahead have in store, alternating between joy and disbelief!
I remember when she was first born. Our son was nearly 4 years old and we were just beginning to see what kind of kid he would become. I loved him intensely from the moment he was born, yet was beginning to love him as a person – more than just my son. I was happy experiencing life through his young eyes! As I held this new little girl in my arms, I loved her deeply but was unsure how I could possibly feel the same intense connection with her that I experienced with my older son.
As I’m certain any parent will share, our capacity to love evolves. I have a special connection with my son, my first born. Likewise, I have a special connection with my daughter. Though she has matured and gained welcomed independence, she will always be my baby! I am not allowed to call that, of course. She is a big girl now, she will declare firmly – quite capable of handling everything on her own!
The longer I have been a parent, my thoughts have broadened as I consider my relationship with God, Creator. I wrote three years ago, very early in these weekly writings, about how being a parent helps me appreciate God’s sacrificial love. (My “Ah-ha” Moment: How being a parent helps me understand God’s love) I stated that I am not so ignorant to think I understand wholly who God is. I acknowledged that God will continue to reveal himself to me in new, unexpected ways.
I consider how my role as Mom has evolved over the years. I can appreciate the lessons learned as a parent, enhancing how I understand my relationship with God. My capacity to love is deeper. I have loved two separate children in two completely different yet equally strong ways. Through this, I gain just a small appreciation for how my God could love each of his children and all of creation.
I watch my kids weave in and out of their reliance on me, ultimately reaching the conclusion that it is okay to rely on me. I have life experience and I love them deeply – they can trust my guidance. As I watch this, it helps me understand that no matter how old I am or how much I think I know, I will always need to rely on God to be my guide.
There is more to learn; a capacity to love which will grow beyond my current scope; relationships which will evolve, leading me to reflect and discern through all of life. Our human relationships should help us appreciate the divine relationship we have with God, Creator. In turn, our human relationships should be founded on the sacrificial love we know through our trust in God. This unceasing opportunity to experience unbridled peace through deep love is a gift, a blessing – the joy of being human and named child of God!