I reflected on my feelings about spring – which is my favorite although I am severely allergic to it – in relation to parenthood. I think pregnancy is most like winter, when everything is dormant but still harboring nutrients and warmth.
The birth is your own individual spring, a new beginning for your own life, marriage, and family, as well as for your newborn. It is a busy stage, and one that older and wiser mothers will tell you to treasure while it lasts.
Then comes summer, toddlerhood and the pre-school years, as your baby learns to walk and talk. Your child’s personality is emerging and he or she is starting to become independent.
The elementary school years are a little like autumn. Your child’s talents and uniqueness are like all the colors of the changing leaves. Your child knows how to do a great deal on his or her own. Like your garden, you have done the work and can just sit back and watch. It is a pleasant time, with little storminess for most, and you can coast through fairly easily.
Now that I have an almost-fifteen-year-old, I feel like I have been through most of the earlier stages. Just on the cusp of the stage here, I can see adolescence may sometimes seem like a whirlwind through all the seasons at once.
But mostly I see it as a long winter. So many things are going on beneath the surface. Childishness has gone the way of autumn. Many of the things you say appear not to take hold, but they are still there, like the protective mulch you put around your evergreens. You think it will never end.
But then – one day it is over and this is the new spring, when your child has blossomed into a full adult. You can admire what he or she has become. Maybe you can embrace each other now as friends…maybe this will take more time, until he or she becomes a parent and can appreciate the cycle that has come full circle.
Just as nature needs to cycle through all its stages, so do our children. Whatever stage your child is in, be sure to appreciate it. Take time to reflect on how his or her stage has changed you as a person. Pray that you can be the best parent possible to help your child to reach his or her highest potential.
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”
Ecclesiastes 3:1 (KJV)