An enigma wrapped in a mystery

They grow up too fast.

Big conversations with her after she’s been staring out the car window and suddenly asks you a question you didn’t see coming a mile away.
Almost adult-like comments when she reads your hesitant body language and responds calmly and confidently, “Don’t worry, Mommy…”
Absolute laughter (and maybe even a high-five) when – just as we pull out of the driveway – her brother points out that Daddy isn’t buckled, Daddy (having already been “corrected” by the same child about his driving direction) says, “Thanks. It’s just a short drive. We’re almost there already,” and she replies with no hint of disrespect at all, “Oh! So can I unbuckle then, too?” And Daddy (putting on his seat belt exactly one block from destination) chuckles at being unintentionally outwitted by the wise girl.

Where did the time go?

Heart-melting conversations with him as he tells me he doesn’t want to grow up. That he doesn’t even want one more birthday. Not even the one that is coming up that he has been working so hard at planning his theme: Trains. Cars (again). Mickey Mouse. Green. Thomas the Train. No matter what theme he settles on, he’s done – D.O.N.E. – with birthdays, because he’s afraid he won’t be able to sit on my lap anymore. What is that? How is a mother supposed to hold in her tears with that kind of thing happening?

And when I tell him that he can always sit on my lap, no matter how big he gets, he laughs and says, “No I can’t. I’ll squish you!” And then I tell him that ok, then I’ll sit on his lap, and he can hold me. And then he laughs again and says, “No you can’t! YOU will squish ME! You’re TOO BIG!” And suddenly all flattery is out the window with my tears.

But then today, he asks me if the cashews he is eating – a favorite snack of his – are healthy. I tell him that yes, they are full of protein, and that will help him grow big and strong. And so he stops eating them. He puts down his favorite snack of cashews and walks away, mumbling on the way out, “I don’t want to grow big and strong. I want to sit on your lap still.”

Ugh.

I’ve determined that half of parenting is being patient, and the other half is wishing this growing up thing would just slow-the-heck-down!

I’ve determined that parenting is an enigma.

And this…
Jacob asks how old we are when we die. I tell him we don’t know, that people die at different ages. He is deep in thought for a moment then says, “You know what’s funny? FIRST you die. THEN you go to Heaven, where there is NO deadness at all!” I smile at his comment. He continues, “I’m serious Mom! For reals! You hafta DIE first, then you go where there’s NO DEADNESS at all. NO DEADNESS in Heaven. Just ALIVENESS! Really! There’s ONLY ALIVENESS!”

I’ve determined that half of living is wishing we could live moments longer, live slower, and the other half is yearning for our Heavenly home to come more quickly.

I’ve determined that life is an enigma wrapped in a mystery.

And yet, it is perfectly clear…
No deadness. Only aliveness. We were made for this.

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