How many times have I wished they could just stay little? Millions, I’m sure. At least as many times as I have wished away their childhood by being too anxious for the next phase of their short lives. But children must grow up into the adults God made them to be, despite our desire to keep them in the Mommy-loving, wet-kisses stage.
I’ve borne witness to this phenomenon at least once, with two others in process right now. My oldest daughter is now a mother herself, and a fine mother she is, too. She couldn’t stay little any more than her sisters can, any more than her own daughter can, and that’s a good thing.
To stay little would be to deny our children the richness of a life well-lived, a life full of experiences and growth, painful though it may be. I’d love to shield my girls from the harshness of life by having them stay (with me, at home, little!), but I’d likely be saving them from the very things that might (will!) draw them closer into a relationship with their God, because when the pain hits, the ultimate solace is found in Him. And that is no kind of saving at all.
So, my sweet babies, when I say I wish you could stay little, what I really mean is that I’m loving this stage of your lives and I wish we could camp right here, just for a while, to really drink it all in. But I love you too much to ever deny you the joys and pains that come with growing up.