You know that feeling you get on Sunday evening? The kind of sinking feeling when the sun starts to fade into orange and red and yellow and fill the entire sky? It’s beautiful. It stops you right where you stand and makes you pause and wonder; but deep down, in the bottom of your gut, you want to cry because you know the day is about to end? Where you are just so in love with “right now” that the thought of having to give it up for tomorrow forms a lump in the back of your throat?
Parenting is kind of like that.
You are constantly stuck in this place of enjoying the last bit of the weekend, soaking up the last bit of sunshine, but with the realization that it’s going to end a whole lot sooner than you’d like. And that it’s all just sand through your baby’s tiny fingers.
You know that soon they’ll start crawling and walking and pronouncing it “yellow” instead of “lellow.” Soon they’ll be going to school five days a week, and driving cars and oh-my-gosh, dating. I just . . . I can’t even. They’ll fall down, they’ll get hurt, they’ll get left out. They’ll get their hearts broken. And trampled on. And there’s a chance that instead of letting you in, they’ll slam the door in your face in an attempt to claim their independence.
It’s not that you aren’t looking forward to the week to come. New weeks are full of new surprises and new chances to grow and learn and change. And it’s not really that you even dread Monday morning. A little caffeine, and Monday morning can be a beautiful thing. It’s just that you aren’t quite ready to let go of Sunday. It’s just that you blinked and the weekend was over way too fast, and no matter how hard you tried, you couldn’t soak it all in exactly like you’d wanted; there were dishes to do, and sweatpants to fold, and toys to pick up.
It’s just that you are loving this moment so much: the sunset, the calm, the praise song still stuck in your head from morning worship. It’s just that everything is so sweet and so tender and so happy, that you can’t help but dread the hour when you have to kiss it goodbye.
Yeah, parenting is kind of like that.
It’s rolling your eyes because they just got out of bed for the fourth time to ask for a glass of cold water, but simultaneously knowing you’ll miss it when it stops. It’s feeling love and feeling happiness and feeling sadness, and already missing something that hasn’t even left you yet.
It’s a constant game of having to let go of where you are to take step into new territory, into uncharted waters, whether you’re ready or not.
It’s having to bask in the sunshine of Sunday . . . but with the knowledge that Monday is always on its way.