Deep breath.

Inhale. Exhale.

Tucking a little one into their crib and singing lullabies you didn’t realize you remembered  tugs at some  special strings in your heart when your own babies are minutes away from grown.

I can grieve our hard years now. I can pull those years from deep within my back pocket and carefully look them over. I can acknowledge the things I failed at when their little feet toddled down my hall and the moments I should have chosen differently to protect their tiny hearts, and then I can leave room for Grace in my road-worn and time-weary heart.

Let me sway your babies to sleep while you go out on the town for the night, let my heart remember all the verses to Away in a Manger, then let me fuss at my teenagers the next day for leaving their shoes in the middle of the living room floor…

I’ve learned it’s all messy – the toddler years to the teenage years. All the years have god-awful smells, and you never stop tripping over things left in the floor, and you will probably always have to remind them to say thank you every now and then, and you constantly say, “I. and love. and you.” and you hope they hear you when you tell them for the millionth time to put kindness in the world.

Take me back, but only for a second – because my babies are minutes away from grown.

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