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I am about to do something wild and crazy: something I haven’t done in years!
Today I babysit.
My friend’s childcare provider isn’t available today so she sent me a desperate email asking if I could watch five-year-old Karsen. Surprisingly, nothing was on the agenda for today so I asked my seven-year-old, “Will you babysit a little kid?” and after her enthusiastic nod, I responded to my friend “Sure. Why not?”. It’s bringing back lots of memories.
When my own children were eight, five, and three (and I thought they were so big!), I babysat infant Karsen each and every workday. It was a natural thing for me to do; I was smack dab in the middle of Mommy World. I had high chairs…swings…toys. I still had maternity clothes in big cardboard boxes in the attic. My weekly outings included the library and the park. If I were so lucky to get an evening out with my best friend, we found ourselves in the baby sections of department stores “ooohing” and “ahhhing” over baby tights or bibs. My dialogue with friends on MySpace was about potty training, cloth diapers, and animated movies. If someone had a question about home birth or breast feeding, I was the lady to call. Motherhood was what I did and I couldn’t imagine ever untangling myself from all that was B-A-B-Y.
And yet here I am. I’m the same woman–just five years later–and everything has changed. Yesterday I walked briskly by the new baby gear department at WalMart and actually shuddered when I saw the fuzzy blankets! I had an “Ewww” response instead of an “Ahhh” response. What is up with that?
It reminds me of when I was a little girl and I would find my mom in the kitchen and dramatically (always dramatically) exclaim, “MOM! What, what am I going to do? I want to be a teacher! And an actress! And a writer! And a mother! And an animal specialist! And an artist! How will I choose?!” My wise mother would look at me and say, “You can be all those things. Just not at the same time.” Now…exactly two months from hitting the big 4-0 (and, yes, I do expect cards and gifts. Thank you.), I am seeing how right she is.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven” Eccl. 3:1
Seasons of life simply change. That’s okay. One isn’t better than another. They’re just different. I am beginning to see what fun it can be to turn each corner and discover the next layer of this life. I’ve chosen not to mourn the past. Today, however, I am choosing to enjoy and love a little five-year-old girl who brings me memories of that past.
So…tell me…what are you loving about today?