The other day I pulled up to my house and saw my son’s red tricycle sitting on my front porch. It was so cute and cliche, if it hadn’t been my house I probably would’ve said, “Oh, look. They must have little kids. I wonder how old they are…”
But I didn’t. Instead, I turned around and looked at my 3-year-old and said, “Honey, you better go and get your bike off the porch. We don’t want it to get stolen because you left it out.”
He nodded his head and asked me to unbuckle him. As I began to unfasten him, I couldn’t help but notice how little he seemed. He began to talk about our neighbor girl next door and used the phrase, “Her might want to play with it.”
That’s it. His incorrect English made my heart swell. I had to grab him tight. Oh, my gosh, son. You are still so little. It won’t be long until you don’t even fit on that bike.
With that thought, I got my other son out of his car seat and opened my door to see a house with toys strewn about. I was getting ready to unload my groceries and couldn’t help but think how much easier it would be to unload them if I wasn’t trying to avoid smashing the toys that covered my tile and prevent my crawler from trying to escape out the door.
But I began the process anyway and with some fancy footwork and application of past ballet moves, I was able to get everything put away without tripping or without the door smashing my son. And I was proud of myself and so were my two sons as they crawled on my lap while I rested my body on the couch for a moment.
Ten years ago, putting away groceries used to be so easy. And so was keeping my house clean. And I certainly wasn’t worried about anyone leaving red tricycles in the front yard back then. Instead, I was probably more worried about wearing the right shade of red lipstick as I got myself ready for work in the morning. It’s crazy that used to be my biggest care. Life was so easy then.
But then I flashbacked to a different memory of the same 23-year-old me already dreaming of who my future kids would be some day. I remember her feeling ready for the next thing. Instead of being able to fully enjoy the freedom that was being 23. Why do we always long for what we don’t have instead of enjoying what phase we’re in? It’s so easy to be discontent.
I cannot believe that in just ten years so much has happened. I have no doubt I will be thinking the same thing when my boys are no longer in my lap, when I will likely find myself longing for them to be back where they are right now in this moment. That thought causes me to collectively kiss them as I snuggle them tight.
The grass is not always greener on the other side. It’s greener where you water it. And one day in retirement, I may be worried about trying to get my red tomatoes to grow in my grass or garden. Instead of being worried about picking up the red tricycle off my porch.
But for today. I’m going to thank God for the gift of being in a phase where red tricycles reside on my porch. And not long for anything more or less.
Whatever phase you are in, may God give you the grace to enjoy it.
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