As Seasons Change

We go through many seasons in our lives as parents. At the same time my brother and his wife are juggling the joys of raising a two year old and a three week old, I am at a different place in the timeline. My children are both successfully launched adults. Our connection and relationships now that they are "grown and gone" are just as important to me as when I had 100% responsibility for my son and daughter. We went through many seasons to get from what now seems like a flash of lightning that took them from newborns to toddlers to teens and beyond.

Some seasons call for us to be awake all night, listening for every whimper. Other seasons have us wondering how they are away at college, or on a trip with new friends, or off on the many adventures as they develop their careers and new relationships. The connection is built over many seasons. There will be seasons of worry and seasons of hurry. There are times I wish I could go back and handle with more understanding and more patience.

If you are in the season of diapers with no time for daydreams, just be present to that season. Every splashy bathtime is one more opportunity to connect, to build your relationship for the seasons to come. If you are in the season of homework and cheerleading and baseball games, enjoy your time in coaching and leading. You are teaching your child to lead himself or herself in future seasons.

There will be times we want the season to last forever, and other times when we hope a stormy season will pass quickly. No season will be all good weather and hopefully no season will be all bad weather either. As we grow together as a family, letting each person know they really matter, that you love them no matter what, we build bonds that will outlast the seasons.

Life is not all flowers and springtime and neither is parenting. The photo I posted with this blog is a windowbox I planted at my house at its peak season last summer. If you saw that windowbox right now, it is nothing but dirt and some tattered burlap. Those plants gave all they had and faded, then died when the seasons changed.

In our lives as parents, winter winds will blow and there may be some temporary setbacks - it is up to us whether those challenges cause us to give up or deepen our love and understanding for our family and ourselves. If we learn from every season, we will be more prepared for the next one and its challenges. One thing is for sure, on this journey of parenting, the seasons change quickly!

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