One of the rhythms that Western culture would like to ignore altogether is the rhythm of the life cycle itself. Westerners, Americans in particular, want to resist this created cycle because it limits us to a certain number of years. We, including me, buy products to make us look younger than we are. We, including me, attempt to lengthen our lives. We, including me, resist the limits of growing older. fFinding contentment in our current stage of life pushes against the American dream.
Teenagers long to be old enough for someone to take them seriously. Young adults long for the financial comfort of middle age. Parents of infants long for their babies to be old enough to sleep. Parents of toddlers long for their children to be old enough to feed themselves neatly. Parents of elementary-aged kids long for their children to be able to do their homework on their own. And then, middle-aged adults long for the freedom of teenagers. Empty nesters long for the noise of children. Elderly adults long for the energy of young adults.
Every season has its limits.
I am in a season of elementary-aged kids that call me mom. Every day is packed full. “Mom, where is my baseball glove?” “Mom, can you help me with this math homework?” “Mom, have you washed my jeans yet?” “Mom, what’s for dinner?” “Mom, are you driving carpool today?” “Mom, can I have a friend spend the night?” “Mom, can I watch TV?” “Mom, will you french braid my hair?” “Mom…”
I will not pretend that I enjoy every moment of it. I don’t. I feel limited, held back. restrained by this season of life. Someone always needs me!
And yet, this is my season. I can fight the limits of this season or I can embrace this holy space that I have been placed in. The choice is always mine.
Today, I choose to name and honor this season of life, including its limits, as gifts from God.
We’ll see about tomorrow.