This morning Toby woke up in one of his Eeyore moods. Those of you with kidlets know the one, he mopes around the house, not wanting to eat, not wanting to play, not wanting to do much of anything except mope. He didn't want to go to his Sunday School class so he got to go to "big church" with me. Since Jim was running sound I was running the three boys in the pew. Evan participated well, Aidan snuck off to not be in "big church" and Toby moped. Eventually I picked him up and let him cuddle himself onto my shoulder. He rubbed his hair and sucked his thumb as I sang the praise and worship songs softly into his ear. I glanced across the room at another mom whose three sons are all grown up. Her baby boy is a junior in high school. And then it hit me. This baby soft cheek that is nuzzled up on my cheek won't always be baby soft. Someday my baby son will be all grown up and that baby soft cheek won't be baby soft anymore, but will be covered with the bristly stubble of a man. So, I let my mind wander away from the praise around me and just basked in the nuzzling of that baby soft cheek on mine soaking up that memory to pull out when my baby son is all grown up.
I'm constantly reminded that these baby days ARE all too fleeting. Evan's thinking deep theological thoughts. Aidan's learning to read. Toby's learning about planting and growing seeds. Avery's learning to walk. And someday I'll be watching them all walk the stage for high school graduation and eventually, Lord willing, walk the aisle to get married and start families of their own. I keep reminding myself, at the reminding of another more seasoned mom, that my job is to work myself out of a job. My job is to mother these lil'uns so that they will be successful, Christ honoring citizens not only of Earth, but making an impact for eternity as well. So work on, mammas. Your job matters and these days WILL blow by before you even know it. Those soft cheeks you kiss goodnight WILL become scruffy man cheeks. Soak up those soft memories now to pull out later!