5 Minutes…about all I have before I need to get my girls ready for bed. A big weekend…t-ball games on Saturday and Child Dedication at our church today. We had Leighton, our baby, dedicated and family there to share in the memory. As I finished feeding Leighton tonight she was so tired she laid her little head on my shoulder and slept while I rocked her for a few minutes in her room. I could hear Rivers and Leah playing on the Wii downstairs. As I rocked I thought of how Leah, my middle daughter, will be starting kindergarten in the fall. I looked down into Leighton’s sweet round face and knew I only have about 5 minutes.
Oh it may seem to stretch out in countless middle-of-the night feedings and all the milestones yet to be achieved, but I know by now it’s really only 5 minutes until Leighton and I have one last summer before she starts kindergarten, too. Before the voice I have yet to hear speak her first word tells me all about her day at school. Before field trips and homework. Before hurt feelings and skinned knees.
Somehow in this recognition I sense a vague awareness of the 5 minutes ticking away even as I type. My second grader will turn into a young woman and begin pursuing the dreams God has placed in her heart before I have time to realize what is happening. My on-the-cuff-of-kindergarten girl will bloom into a radiant flower whose life leans toward the Son as she grows into all God has created and destined for her to be. How can this be? I don’t know. And yet I know it’s true. Only yesterday I stood in a church with Rivers looking so much like Leighton did today as a Pastor prayed over our new family and our public dedication to raise her to know Jesus. Only a blink back in time we stood up once more with Leah in our arms…promising God, our family and each other to give it our best. To live out this sometimes messy life before the Lord. To point her to Jesus. And yet as I was rocking I heard my just-now babies laughing (and fussing) while they play Wii table tennis together. They ride bikes and use my iPad. Rivers keeps a diary.
Like with so many days of mommy-hood, my 5 minutes to pause and absorb the moment are up. I need to tuck them in. Kiss them goodnight. Take an extra long look into their growing faces. Make sure the last thing they hear before they close their eyes is how much I love them. A love that will last much longer than the 5 minutes I get to hold them as my little girls.
A love that lasts forever.