This morning I sit here the day after Halloween and look at all the cute pictures on Facebook of little kids dressed up in their costumes. I realize with dismay that I did not take one picture of my children yesterday. The thought crossed my mind, but the camera was with Clara who was with friends trick or treating in a different neighborhood. This has brought me to a place of pondering this picture-less Halloween.
Pondering why when the girls were younger I would NEVER have missed out on taking a picture of my children with their cute costumes. Maybe I had less on my plate. Maybe I was more enthusiastic. Maybe life was simpler. Maybe I had my own camera and was not borrowing my daughter's.
Pondering the reality of raising two middle school daughters. Yikes!! One who is ready to move out tomorrow. One who likes to talk and talk and talk....starting about 9:00 pm when I can no longer comprehend what she is saying because my brain has shut down for the day. Really, I need an extra measure of energy just thinking about the days ahead.
Pondering raising little boys while raising middle school daughters AND how different my boys growing up experience is from my girls. We live in a different state. The boys lives are not filled with play dates and play groups. The boys are surrounded by activity. Their friends are little brothers on Clara's soccer team and the boys in the neighborhood and from church. When the girls were younger I was intentional about helping them the develop friends. With the boys I simply say let's go....go play outside or let's go to the soccer field or to church or to work.
I suppose the picture-less Halloween is merely a foreshadowing of the future as the nest empties and the children pursue their own lives one by one. That might bring a tear to my eye except this nest will not be empty for like a hundred more years.
My life is full. It is abundant. I am trying to teach my kids "as we go" what it means to walk with Jesus, what it means to be a friend, how to get along with others, how to cook, how to clean up what you mess up, and a myriad of other things.
And yet, I hope when they look back on these days they remember a loving family. I hope that they have learned valuable lessons from time spent together. I hope we are preparing them to fly from the nest well. I hope as they go into their future and our family multiplies they will take cute pictures of their children and send them to me via whatever means of communication is available.
Okay, and I also hope that some of my neighbors captured at least one cute shot of my dressed up kids on this picture-less Halloween at the Smith House!!!