I must admit it, there are days when I miss having a baby in my arms. There is something about that fresh-from-God smell and those sweet dimpled hands and even that newborn cry that just can't be beat. But no matter when I find myself longing for a baby, I never find myself wishing my boys were babies again.
After all, that would mean I'd have to give so much up. If the four-year-old were a baby he couldn't tell me that whale, watermelon, Whit, Wendy, and wacky all begin with "w." If the two-year-old were a baby we wouldn't be high five-ing over the fact that he pooped in the potty today. If they were babies again I would miss the hugs and kisses they shower on me at the just the right (and sometimes craziest) moments. No, no matter how wonderful babies are (and I think they are pretty wonderful) I am thrilled with exactly who my children are right now.
And this apple hasn't fallen far from the tree. I look back and I remember hearing my mother at different times throughout my life in conversations where she was asked what her favorite age for her children was. And I remember her answer was always the same - whatever ages my sister and I were at the time. Whether we were small children or even teenagers, the stage we were at on that day was her favorite (in spite of the struggles it held). And I would venture to say she would answer the same today. I'd guess that watching her daughters who are now 38 and 36 as we navigate our adult lives with professions and relationship and parenting and new opportunities is her favorite time of motherhood.
And I think, just as I hope to give my children a glimpse of who God is, that in this my mother gave me a glimpse of who God is. My mother showed me a God who wasn't always wishing today away, wasn't always focused on a different set of expectation, wasn't always wanting to go back to something easier or more endearing...but a God who was fully present with the gifts of any particular day and the gifts (and even struggles) of who I was (and am) on that particular day.
It's a gift I hope to keep giving my children...the gift of loving them today and on each today that is to come.