Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Potty Training and Driver's Training

As a newly married twenty two year old young woman never did I imagine those two things happening at the same time in my life or better yet on the same day. Never! I planned to have four children two to two and half years apart not five children with a differing amount of years between each one. But we make a plan and God orders our steps. Proverbs 16:9 says, "The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps."

So here I find myself some twenty years later with five kids ranging in age from two to fifteen teaching my oldest to drive and potty training my youngest all in the same day.

My two year old son has all of a sudden taken this huge interest in going to the bathroom on the potty. It's not much different than my fifteen year old asking if she can drive every time we get ready to leave the house. He pulls on his diaper and says something that I interpret as "potty", she grabs the keys and says, "can I drive?" (sorry LT) I am not ready for either one. Don't get me wrong I would love to get rid of diapers and I would also love to have a child who could drive herself places . But just as it will take patience for my little guy to learn how to use the bathroom on his own, I am patiently letting my daughter drive as often as possible in order to give her alot of experience before she receives a real "able to leave home and drive somewhere alone" driver's license.

But each day as one child is gaining more and more independence and I am wanting to reach out and pull her back I look down and see my youngest holding onto my leg. I have found myself reflective of how as moms we often want to pull back and hold on to our children who are slowly moving further away from needing us every day and yet often times in the weariness of carrying for our young children wishing for a moment of solitude and quiet. I find myself living in this place. My oldest will turn sixteen in the fall, my youngest just two and a half. She is reaching for more and more independence, he is still reaching for me. I don't want to wish away either one even if it means in one day I am chasing a two year old around the house and reading "brown bear brown bear" for the thousandth time and what seems like minutes later driving down the highway with my daughter as we talk about driving safely, her desire to serve God with her life and where she would like to go to college.

This makes me walk a little slower (not because I am older), but because I am fully aware of how quickly these days will go by.


Heth said...

This is so sweet Chris.

Donnetta said...

What an insightful post. I don't know that I've ever really thought of it that way before.

I am the oldest of 5. I turned 16 when the baby was 4 months old. My mother found herself in this very same place and it didn't really occur to me until reading this.

Thanks for sharing this place you find yourself in!!

melanie said...

honestly, your kids are so blessed to have you as a mother. God has incredible ways that He is going to use each of them!

Linda said...

You are at a unique stage in your life as a Mom. There are so many demands on you right now. You have such a wise, sweet attitude. I can vouch for the fact that although we get sort of tired of those old cliches - they are so true. It seems I just turned around and my children were grown and gone with children of their own. You are so wise to cherish these days Chris.

Natalie Joy said...

What a huge contrast. I know you parent that younger one a little differently knowing more of what is ahead. That is why I love your advice. I know you've been there, understand and know what is coming for me. Thanks so much.

Tammy said...

Chris...what a wonderful post.

I am sandwiched more in the place of caring for two little girls and watching as I know my mom, who is 80, will be becoming more dependent on me.

But what you said is so true...sometimes we feel ourselves being tugged and it's easy to feel tired from a certain stage, but our days are so fleeting and we need to try and take joy from the moment. What a great reminder!

Lisa Spence said...

Hey, I'm just impressed your son at two actually wants to go potty! All four of my sons were three and a half before they figured it all out--I guess I never did (obviously) as potty training was the four worst experiences of my life!!!!

Like you, my boys' push for independence often provokes bittersweet emotion, but I have to remind myself that this is what I am raising them for: to grow up and be mature, godly men of character. What a challenge!

I had a friend like you with kids in the same two stages of life--if it gives you any comfort, she survived! Hang in there!

Kimmie said...

I enjoyed reading your age spans...we are very similar here. I had a plan, but God's was far different...one homemade who is now 16 and one 3 who I did get to potty train, but who God brought on his third birthday.

Enjoy every bit of today, as the todays and tomorrows keep coming (God willing) and soon all our little babies will be ready for their path that God is preparing them for.

May he continue to guide and bless you as you stretch and bend to touch the hearts of your dear children. May his blessings flood over you and bring you joy that bubbles up and flows over onto those around you who are "watchers."

Mama to 6
one homemade and 5 adopted ;-)
(now on our way to adopting from Guatemala...come by and meet us!)

Susanne said...

The two stages at once would make life very interesting. This is such a wonderful post about it. I have two learning to drive right now so we're having the roller derby type race for the car keys everytime we go somewhere.

Adrienne said...

Chris, Thanks for sharing. I am deffinalty not at either of these stages yet but I know I will be someday and it is great to see what I have to look forward to and have the advice I need before I need it.

I can't believe LT is already going to be 16. It makes me feel old I can remember her in my first grade cabin. Oh what great times. (In camp mode again 6 wks to go...)

Kim said...

So funny--I can relate...except we are behind you a little bit. My oldest hasn't shown a lot of interest in driving yet...nor has my 2 year old shown interest in using a potty...but my day is coming!

Thanks for this sweet post! Every stage of parenting is fun, isn't it?