On a decade of parenting

We plunked down a wad of cash on a slew of matching photo albums. That means I’ve been going through old mismatched Target clearance albums to pull out photos and printing what I need to bring us up to date.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

It is really something to have so many moments from that season captured, both through photo and video. A lot happens over a decade, but a lot also stays the same.

For instance, my waist has never been small, even as I sigh and wish for long ago days that never existed.*

We ate a lot of peanut butter toast. And drive-thru ice cream cones.

People we hung out with regularly have fallen off of our radar, replaced by new people because somethings are for seasons and some are forever.

My kitchen was always a mess, and someone was always screaming or crying.

Just looking at the photos and videos makes me tired, 2015 especially.

Roger was born in January of that year. I had started homeschool with Claudia. Ellie, at 2.5, was big feelings and big messes. I was trying to work 20-30 hours a week from home without outside help. There was just always more to be done.

That mama was so tired. But fulfilled, too. It was hard and holy work that left her in sad and happy tears, all in the same day.

If I look too long, I start to pick it all apart. Where I messed up, fell short, could have done better.

But.

That mama laid the foundation we stand on today. That work bought our car in a season where saving would have otherwise been difficult, and it gave me the framework for time use that allowed me to write a book that I cared about, even if it never made a bestseller’s list.

All those meals that made our kitchen messy grew those kids into the towers of strength they are today–and all of them will be taller than me. They scramble and fry eggs; make macaroni and cheese, pancakes, sandwiches, quesadillas, little pizzas; prep fruits and vegetables; bake cakes; and talk through whether our meals are balanced, all because we spent so much time chopping and prepping and cooking and just being in the kitchen.

And when they sit down to that breakfast or lunch they prepared themselves on crazy days when we’re not all eating together? They bow their heads and thank God for their food, because they’ve lived that out three times a day every day of their lives.

Books matter now because they mattered then. Putting pen to paper with words or pictures or ideas matters now because it mattered then. Helping to clean up even though we’d rather not bother matters now because it mattered then.

After a hard hospital season and a pandemic that left me feeling unmoored, those exhaustion-inducing photos remind me that the job isn’t done, even if I’m constantly trying to look over the fence at what God gave someone else. Those baby faces changed so much, reminding me that no season is forever, nothing about our situation is changing, and I have an obligation to lean into where the Lord has put me.

So I’m thankful to that tired mama who persevered. She made me who I am today, and I would do well to honor her legacy by continuing (or going back to) putting in the full effort, just like she did.

{2020 word count: 2,527}


*It has taken me a long time to recognize that there’s only about an inch between the top of my hips and the bottom of my ribs. Sure, I could lose some weight…but it wouldn’t change my bones. Skinny waist just ain’t in the cards. So.much.angst could have been saved by recognizing the truth of my skeleton long ago…

Published by MK Jorgenson

Thinking, writing, and talking about Christian stewardship in all of its facets.

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