During last October's General Conference for the LDS Church, the prophet, Thomas S. Monson, gave a talk about finding joy in the journey of life. Here is one thought he shared that I heard with disbelief:
"If you are still in the process of raising children, be aware that the tiny fingerprints that show up on almost every newly cleaned surface, the toys scattered about the house, the piles and piles of laundry to be tackled will disappear all too soon and that you will—to your surprise—miss them profoundly."
When I heard that, I thought, "I hope that's true, but it really doesn't sound like me." When people ask me what I'll do when all my kids are in school full time, I answer, "Clean the house." Seriously, it hasn't been clean to my liking since I was pregnant with #5 almost four years ago. So when President Monson warned that I would miss that, I thought, "Not likely."
Last week my kids were playing with their cousin who is visiting from England. They wanted to "paint" with shaving cream on the windows, and since I am trying to say yes to my children as much as possible (within reason), I let them go ahead. When they were done, I saw the window and immediately thought of the prophet's words. I still can't appreciate the constant mess of five young children, but it does blow my mind that I have no babies anymore and that #1 is giving our phone number to boys she meets at the pool. (Fortunately, Kent and I are screening their persistent phone calls so they don't get to talk to her much.)
I know I will have regrets as an empty-nester some day, but I hope to use the time I have my children in my home to enjoy them as people and pass along some wisdom too.
If you want to read the full talk, click here It's one of those that I've read a few times and always lifts my spirits and puts things in perspective.