August 15, 2019 by Sean Grossman 0 comments
Next week we start a new life, and by “we” I really mean Carissa. You see, on Wednesday Ben is going to start Kindergarten. Carissa has been with Benny almost every day for the last 5 ½ years. When Libby went to school two years ago, now, that left Ben and Carissa together at home.
Under normal circumstances this is where I would talk about Benny. But I think I’m going to write about him another time. For right now, I want to focus on Carissa, because next week she is going to have a vastly different life than what she has had for half a decade. She will have no children at home with her.
This is all part of parenthood. This is part of being a stay at home mom, when the kids become old enough to go to school. They begin to have lives outside of their parents. They begin to have their own experiences. For the parent it has two different feelings, fear and joy. Fear because we know how easy the world can destroy that which is so beautiful as children. Joy because we have spent so much time with them, and know they are so precious and we want to see the blessing they are to us become blessings on others.
Carissa is going to have a different life. She will have more time to herself than she has in so long. There have been moments in the past when she would have craved time alone. I think at this moment, though, she wants time to stop. She doesn’t want her little boy to leave her alone. She will miss him terribly, just as she missed Libby when she went to school.
I feel for Carissa. When Libby went to school I had to work, so I was unable to experience first-hand the “leaving.” But I remember it like it was yesterday because all day long all I could think was, “I want to go home and scoop up my daughter in my arms and never let go.” I already feel the same thing about Ben.
For Carissa, I think all these feelings are the same, and to be honest probably more. I’ve been the one who has worked outside of the house so I haven’t had as much time with the kids. Carissa, though, has made her life in being a truly wonderful mother to them. To train them, encourage them, love them, and teach them the way they should go.
I think for Carissa she recognizes this as a new chapter, and I think, somewhere inside, she believes that this is the end. This is when her kids begin to not need her anymore. That it is the beginning of the end.
Well I wanted to remind her of something, and that is nothing could be further from the truth. While it is true that our kids are growing, they are still so little, still in so much need of care and protection. They are still in desperate need of their mommy.
I know this for a fact. One day while Libby was in Kindergarten I picked her up from school. Her teacher informed me that she had slipped on some ice and had bonked her head pretty hard. I was informed she didn’t cry. Not for the entire day. I thanked her teacher and then I picked her up and headed toward the car. Do you know what happened? As soon as the door was shut she bawled her eyes out and do you know what she kept saying? “I want mommy!”
Whenever Libby is hurt, whenever she feels embarrassed or unsure, do you know who she turns to? She turns to her mother. Every single time, no matter where she is at, if she has a doubt, or hesitation, it’s her mother who she needs to help her figure life out in that moment. I know in some ways this can be tiresome to Carissa, but the truth is, it’s kind of wonderful, and in my mind beautiful.
The point is this; Carissa will always be needed by Ben and Libby. She will always be the one they want when they are hurt, or the one they need when they are unsure. She has done a phenomenal job at keeping them, and raising them, but the truth is, they are still so little and in need of more direction.
Carissa’s life is going to change drastically, it’s true. But in the end, our kids will still need her every day. So for now, I hope Carissa enjoys the quiet times she will receive. I hope she will be blessed during this time of quiet in her life. I hope she allows herself to enjoy it. She has worked so hard over these last 7 years. Her work isn’t done, not even close, but there is now a time when she can relish in the hard work God has accomplished through her in our children.
All of this makes me think of a song by Andrew Peterson…because most things make me think of a song by Andrew Peterson. It’s a song called, “Planting Trees.” The final verse goes as follows. “She rises up, as morning breaks. She moves among these rooms alone, before we wake. And her heart is so full, it overflows. She waters us with love, and the children grow. So many years from now, long after we are gone, these trees will spread their branches out and bless the dawn. These trees will spread their branches out and bless someone.”
They will spread their branches out, darling, and they will be a blessing, because you have watered them with so much love.
I have a special treat! Andrew Peterson released a live album and on it has an introduction to the song Planting Trees. So I am going to post it here as the first link and the second link is the actual song. It's fantastic and I highly recommend listening to the introduction and the song.
Planting Trees Intro by Andrew Peterson
Planting Trees (song) by Andrew Peterson
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