Our children are mostly grown at this point. Mostly. There are no toys lying all over the house. Clothes and video games are what lay around now. Screams of fighting over toys and the giggles of working it out are long gone. With only one left at home full time, there isn’t even anyone to argue and fight with. There aren’t any highchairs or car seats to be found. The driveway looks like a car lot instead.
Kids used to run in and out of the house. When the kids come to the house now, they bring friends, fiancés, and real-world issues. Phone calls are more frequent than visits. I am no longer running around behind little ones or driving to and fro from appointments and activities. Now, I am learning to cook less and listen more.
The chaos of parenting hasn’t left us, though. It’s just a little different these days.
The craziness comes now in advice and assistance, in flurries of phone calls and texts. The worries are much different and even greater. Three drivers in various stages, with jobs and their own bills, is much more chaotic than the days of fevers and boo-boos from playing outside.
Not only is the chaos different, but it has also grown greater, and somedays the peace seems to have grown smaller.
When they were little, peace came from naptime or quiet cuddles. Later the peacefulness came during school hours or just after everyone was tucked into bed. In every stage, there were moments the chaos stopped and the peace reigned.
But these days, even the peace is different.
Sometimes it comes in a sweet phone call in the middle of the workday just to say, “Hi, Mom.” Peace comes in knowing they’ve made the right decision. It comes from the random hug and in sitting together and watching a movie we have watched 1000 times before they leave to do their own thing. It comes in watching them grow and mature into what I’ve raised them to be.
Peace comes when you least expect it these days.
Sometimes the chaos is overwhelming. It comes at us from work, home, and the world all around us. Sometimes chaos even comes when we try to make peace. But I am learning to live in the moments of peace that are not necessarily made, but that are found. Found unexpectedly in a call, a text, or a smile. Chaos may want to be what makes you, but instead, peace is what you make it. Peace is what makes you mom.
“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9).