As I sat in the vast auditorium, listening to the principal go over the events associated with Matt’s senior year, my mind wandered.  Wasn’t he just a colicky infant, seemingly tasked with keeping his older brothers awake all night? Wasn’t he just toddling around trying to be one of the big boys? Wasn’t he just consumed with building the biggest Lego castle that would reach all the way to the sky?
A Moment-By-Moment Kind of Thankful via The MOB Society

When your youngest is the only one left in the nest, you tend to spend a good bit of time reminiscing.  Feelings of wistfulness and pangs of regret can creep in. Since two sons have already sprouted up and out you realize you can’t put the brakes on this growing up and becoming a man thing that is happening before your eyes.

And you realize, you didn’t do a very good job of enjoying each mama moment.  When you are in the throes of temper tantrums, runny noses and sleepless nights, it is hard to imagine ever wishing of those days back again.

I know

But, you will.

The next time you think you just can’t answer one more question that begins with the word “why” or you are bent low, wiping up the milk that was spilled on your newly mopped floor or you are returning your strong-willed four year old to the time out chair for the 15th time {that day}, know that you will miss the craziness of raising boys one day.

It’s okay to be exhausted and frustrated in the moment, but one tick of a clock and that moment becomes a mere memory. Ten years from now you will miss that same, exact moment in time.

One day when they are turning 17 and a senior in high school and you are realizing their time under your roof is coming to an end sooner than you or they ever imagined, you will look at the scrapbook (and all the photos you meant to put into a scrapbook) and you will be thankful for every single precious minute God gave you with your boys.

Because those days you lost your temper or crawled into bed thinking “I can’t do this another day” or wished for the day they would be seventeen and not need you so much–those are not what you or your son will remember.

He will remember the days you played H-O-R-S-E with him instead of doing the dishes, the days that you kissed his sweaty forehead when he was sick, and the days that you read that story for the 100th time.

You Mama, you will remember it all.

This parenting of boys is a privilege and an honor.  Every exhausting, adventurous moment is one that you will look back on and smile about.  How can you be grateful in the midst of the chaos of the younger years?  Here are a few things I encourage you to enjoy while your boys are small:

  • The “Mama, watch this” moments. Boys love to show off their bravery, whether it’s handing you a worm or jumping off the back of the porch.  I tended to wince and draw back from those moments as they were happening. Really, there’s nothing better than sharing in their discoveries and excitement.
  • The sibling rivalry moments.  I don’t know about you, but with three boys born within four years, there was quite a bit of arguing and competing for attention in the early days of La Casa Smallwood.  I remember how exasperated I would get at the bickering. Do you know that now I look back on those moments and chuckle (and so do my boys)?  We laugh at how I would make them sing “You are My Sunshine” to each other.
  • The repetitive moments.  Prayers before bed, the same breakfast request 365 days a year, watching Star Wars Episode V for the millionth time- those are all memories that you will one day hold very dear to your heart, regardless of how monotonous they seemed at the time.

I urge you to take stock of the everyday moments that have you feeling worn thin and fatigued. Ask God to show you the miracle of those moments now, instead of years from now.