Standing in line at Home Depot last week, I heard something that caught my attention.
There was a group in front of me with two moms and a couple of kids. One of the moms was handing the clerk paint, wood, and tools for some project. The other mom was managing the chaos that comes with precious littles. They were doing a fine job. Especially considering there was at least one baby and a 2-year-old in the group!
As they finished up and headed out the door, the clerk, who was probably also in his 30’s, turned to me and said with disgust, “THAT is exactly why I don’t have kids.” He motioned to the families as they walked out the door and continued to talk about his dislike for children as he rang up my items. (I happened to not have my children with me, so I can only assume he thought I would sympathize with him.)
I was so taken back by the words that poured out of his mouth (especially as I glanced down and noticed he was wearing a wedding band) and his disdainful attitude towards children, I didn’t know what to say. I just kind of stared confused and dumbly at him.
I left the store feeling sorry for this guy. He didn’t have a clue about what he was missing!
Although parenting requires sacrifice and hard work at times (ok, a lot of the time), the blessings you gain in return are innumerable . Being mom to my two precious daughters is one of the most amazing privileges I have experienced in this life. With it comes an abundance of love and joy and just plain fun that I would have missed out on otherwise.
Sure, without kids, perhaps I would have more vacation photo albums and stamps in my passport. Brance and I would likely have gotten more sleep and our house would have stayed cleaner and our laundry baskets less full. But none of that holds a drop in the bucket to what we have gained as parents. For the overwhelming love and gratitude we feel for these two little souls we’ve been blessed to raise.
After Homeschool today, for some reason the girls and I started looking through family pictures and videos from when they were smaller. Tears sprang to my eyes as I watched them totting, and dancing, and talking to their mama behind the camera. Oh man. THIS is important—these years with my children—THIS is what beautiful memories are made of. Not the nice restaurants or new clothes. Not trips or new vehicles, or even a clean house and peace and quiet.
Seeing those pictures and videos reminded me that when I think back to all the meaningful things I have experienced in this life, the things that fill my heart to overflowing, my children (and people I love) are what come to mind.
Regardless of what others or culture may tell us, children truly are a gift from God.
P.S. As I wrote this, my heart went out to those who for whatever reason have not been able to have children despite their desire. Please don’t feel I am saying here that you can’t have a meaningful life. I also believe there are ways for you to still experience the gift of children—whether it’s nieces and nephews or at church etc.