Most of you are going to have to use your imaginations and fast forward a bit as you read this post, but it will pay off in the end.

Sometimes as a boy mom, it’s hard to imagine the light at the end of the tunnel. The chaos and noise, the physicality and the craziness are overwhelming. I’m here to say that one day that will morph into something different—and for me, that’s been one of the best blessings of being a boy mom. Why?

Because seeing your son as a father is:

1. Humbling. There is no way you can take credit for such a metamorphosis. As the boy of yesteryear becomes the man with a babe in arms, you know that God’s hand is evident. He doesn’t remember everything you taught him, and he improves on a good bit of it. As he and his wife look to God for guidance and put their own spin on parenting, you realize you don’t have a corner on the market of Best and Parent Avenues. You always knew God was in control of your son’s life, even when it was hard to see. Now you know for sure that all of this was not your doing.

2. Inspiring. If God can do this, truly He can do anything. That toddler who, upon being warned not to misbehave, asked, “And what will happen if I do?” is now guiding his own son to think through his own behavior. “The Circle of Life” is the soundtrack in my head as I watch him on the floor with his son with Legos and trucks—still loving every minute of it. God makes all things new in His time. Seeing my son with his son inspires me to appreciate how God uses all things, the good days and the hard ones.

3. Smile-worthy. For so many reasons, seeing your son as a father brings smiles—sometimes, downright chuckles and belly laughs. Hearing of your grandchild’s exploits and his dad’s efforts to stay one step ahead just makes you nod your head and smile. Which one of us has not had a parent say, “You’ll get paid back for this someday?” You get to see a bit of that, too. Mostly, though, it’s that reminiscent smile that reflects so many memories. Hearing what your son remembers about his childhood with you gives you a whole new perspective on those days.

4. Gratitude-inducing. The privilege of pouring into a life that pours into another is front and center. I know it’s hard to believe, but the intensity of those maddening days does lessen and you’re left with gratitude for them. You still shake your head at the memory of some days and choose not to replay them in your head; it’s not all roses. But recognizing the work God has done over time in your and your son’s hearts and lives can only bring gratitude.

5. Humbling once again. Many of us know women whose greatest desire is to be mothers; that has been our privilege. Seeing your son as a father gives new meaning to the word “legacy.” There’s much we’d love to pass down, but honestly, we know there’s much we’d rather be forgotten, for we are not perfect parents. But we know One who is. In His grace and mercy, God uses our strengths and our imperfections both to teach us and our children.

As we mother today, may our experiences be humbling, inspiring, and gratitude-inducing, leading us back to honor a God whose compassions never fail.

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23 (NIV)