20 years ago this weekend, Kristie and I were spending a peaceful (haha) Easter Sunday visiting with family and preparing for a whirlwind of change that was coming just a month later.
I was spending every single waking free moment converting our little 900 square foot 2 bedroom home with an occupancy of 2, to increase by 50% with an addition of #3!
Fast forward 20 years. Now, today, this weekend, this month, and going forward....I am spending every single free moment that I can seem to scrounge up converting what we have enjoyed as our yard for the past several years into a wedding gala event in a few months!
As a parent, I am sure that we all use that nasty little phrase that I have in the title - "Just grow up!" I had it used on me, heard it used on my brother and sister, used it on our oldest Katelyn, and use it still with our youngest Abigail.
Do we really mean it though? Do we REALLY want our children growing up so fast? I mean think about it. Just as I stated, I can remember the events of 20 years ago - BEFORE Katelyn was a part of our lives. And today, I spent an hour and a half blowing leaves away from the wedding site. WOW! She heeded my words...and grew up!
As we prepare for one of the most important days in her life over the course of a few months, I can't help but reflect on my own parenthood duties, responsibilities, mistakes, "do-overs", ups, downs, excitement, sadness, and so on. If you are a parent, you know all of these feelings very well.
But, as I sat at lunch today with Kristie and Abigail, I saw two different families sitting there at the two closest tables to us, eating that have both experienced a loss of a child or sibling at an age younger than Katelyn is today. I can't help but feel sadness thinking about how they lost a loved one at such a young age and feel pure guilt from pressing forward that point of "just grow up" as a parent.
Sometimes we act and say things that do not equal to what we really mean. This is purely one of those cases. As I watch my oldest baby girl turn 20 next month, become closer to her fiancé and soon to be step-daughter that she treats as much as she is her own, I can't figure out why in the world that I was so anxious for her to "just grow up."
Regardless....she has. And, she has made a wonderful young lady/woman of herself. I mentioned that we are preparing for one of the greatest days of her life. I was reflecting through some of her memories the other night and noticed where she had posted her baptism date on Facebook from 2006. That date was one of the best days I think I could have ever experienced in her life, and I am very proud of her for that.
The Bible tells me as a parent to "not provoke to wrath" with my children, and I am afraid that I may have been guilty of this a few times. The Bible also tells me as a parent that I have a responsibility to bring my child up with the nurture and admonition of the Lord. I pray that I have done just that.
So, as I continue to prepare for the day that my daughter leaves my home, her umbrella of parenthood's envelopment, I also continue to pray that she will "just grow up" in a different way. I pray that she will continue to grow UP toward heaven in her life, in the example that she will be to her husband, and to their daughter....as they tell her a time or two to "just grow up!"