I remember this photo... it was Mother's Day weekend 2009. It was such a joy to see my little people on the temple steps. These were back in the days that they wore the clothes I put out for them and posed when I asked them too- well except for Emma. She has always had her own sense of style and has always smiled only when she wanted to, but I kind of like and even admire that "sass" in her.
If my children would have grown up in the eye of social media, I probably would have posted this pic and boasted of each of their amazing qualities and talents. I wish I could replay this day. I wish I could have it back. I wished I would have enjoyed it more.
So much has happened in the lives of each of the of our "Fab Five." There have been both successes, failures, unimaginable heartache, surgeries, disappointments, but most of all there has been growth- for all of us.
Today, four of these five are teenagers. Wow... that's right-- four of them. The oldest of the five, Seleck, will return from his service as a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 86 days , but who is counting right? In 59 days our second oldest, Stockton, will graduate from high school. Madsen turns 16 in August. Emma is nearly 13 1/2 and that adorable baby is nine. They are my heart beat!
If I could have a conversation with my younger self I would say this, "sit back and just watch, enjoy, relish the little moments. Don't be so hung up on the path you think is ahead of them. Most likely it will not turn out that way.
The best advice my older sister gave me when Seleck became a teenager was, "don't ever act shocked or surprised no matter what they tell you! Take it in stride." For the most part, I think I have done pretty well. Last Sunday, I sat in a Sunday School council, we were discussing questions youth might ask us and how best to reply to them. A father in the rear of the room asked, "What do I say when my kid says, "Why do I have to go to church?" A woman in the rear of the room piped up, " They are our stewardship until they are 18 and we make them go with us!" I was a bit taken back and of course had to say something.
My reply went something like this, "Hmmm I would much rather they figure things out while they are 16, 17, 18 asking questions on their own, then have them not figure it out and then when they are married with a young family seek for answers and take with them my grand kids or lose their family. I would tell them I go to church because I love Jesus, do you love Jesus?" That's what my faith is all about isn't it, love?
Who know where our Fab Five will go, what paths they will take. I hope they follow Jesus. But I if they don't I hope I will remember that God will force no man to heaven.
Spring is here, but winter fights with my daffodils. I expect the April to be brutal, but will count on the lilacs to wave their scent in early May. And If I am lucky, if I remember, I will stand back and enjoy these next 86 days.
And hopefully, I may just get our "Fab Five" to pose for me one last time on the temple steps.