I was walking around our house holding a fussy Lexie in my arms. I was trying to calm her down, distract her, feed her, bounce her, you know the drill. This was not the only thing vying for my attention though. I was also trying to get a load of laundry going, and then tend to a thirsty child who wanted me to fill up her sippie cup, as well as inspect a full size diaper of another sibling. And all the while I’m trying to appease this little nugget in my arms.
My magic began to work with her as she drifted off to sleep, and the thought came to my mind,
“How can something this little take so much work?”
She depends on me for everything. Not that this is a surprise to anyone. I feed her. I bathe her. I clothe her. I protect her. I transport her. I love her. She does breathe on her own, so there’s one thing I’m not responsible for. Or actually, wait. I have fished chicken nuggets out of her mouth and plastic beads out of her hands that other young siblings have so kindly shared with her.
So scratch that breathing part, and we’re back to everything.
She’s 10 pounds for goodness sake. How can this pint size nugget of flesh and blood (very cute flesh, mind you) seem to equate to a mountain load of work? It’s like the proportions are way off.
I said it under my breath then, “How can something this little take so much work?”
And within seconds, the Holy Spirit responded,
“So that when she gets big, she requires very little.”
I let this sink in.
Wouldn’t I rather carry around a 10 pound baby, then carry a 130 pound adult? How about that for a picture! I was encouraged in an instant. Nothing like a little perspective to keep me motivated.
All the work that we are putting in now when our kids are young matters. All so that, when they are older and subsequently bigger, they are functioning at full capacity to their best ability, on their own accord.
I can see how some of my work with our oldest (who is the ripe old age of 7) is paying off. He dresses himself, buckles himself and his sisters in the car, puts bandaids on himself and other victims, and wipes his own bottom, thank you very much. But I had to teach him all of this, practice it with him, and remind him. Money doesn’t just grow on trees, you know. Meaning, it ain’t just going to happen on its own. Work must be done in order to get the fruitful results and pay off that you desire.
My husband and I were at the Apple store the other day and struck up a conversation with the woman helping us. She was visibly pregnant so naturally that worked its way into our friendly banter. And low and behold, this was going to be her sixth child, so we had an instant connection. Her other five children were older, late and early teenagers, and she shared that she divorced their father very recently, as in after finding out that she was pregnant with this surprise bundle. She explained matter of factly,
“It’s easier to raise a newborn than it is to raise a grown man.”
This said a lot, a lot about who her ex-husband was. And wasn’t.
So do not despise these small beginnings that carry such large loads of laundry with it. The time we are spending caring, nurturing, and looking into the eyes of our little ones is doing a good future work in them.
Their spouse just may thank you for it.