Our oldest daughter, Abbie, turned five last week. Like many parents, I wonder where time has gone. We’ve since added Chloe Grace to the mix- and I am now outnumbered 3-1 by females (you can pray for me!). At any milestone, it is a good time to reflect about lessons learned. Here are a few thoughts on five years of parenthood.
1. Fatherhood/Parenthood is not easy! Why do people rush into this? I realize some people dream of having kids, but seriously- it’s tough! I know when I do pre-marital counseling, I encourage couples to set goals for their marriage before kids enter the picture- and to pursue those goals. Kids are a game-changer, more couples need to have awareness of this. I’m grateful that Andrea and I were able to pursue some goals that prepared us for children.
2. My capacity to love has increased. Abbie was an only child for 3 1/2 years. I think Andrea and I both have/had overflowing love for her. I personally wondered how I could love a second child the way I love Abbie. When Chloe came along, love did an interesting thing. Instead of dividing our love between Abbie and Chloe- our love grew so that we could love each child with a full, abundant love.
3. Conversations about bodily functions never end (and I have girls!). Parents, you know this- that when your child is young- bodily functions help to tell you that your child is healthy. They become part of everyday conversation- even at the dinner table (especially at the dinner table!). Abbie is now five and the conversations haven’t ended! She is amused by them- and so is her sister! You’d think we have a couple of middle school boys!
4. I’m ok with pink, princesses, or tea parties. I have two girls who I love- so I will play princesses, tea parties, or have plenty of pink on hand in the house.
5. My wife is more amazing each day. My wife, Andrea, is amazing. It’s why I married her. Seeing Andrea work with the girls and care for our family, I realize how blessed I am to call her my wife. We get to share this journey of life together with our children- and there is no one I’d want to share it with!
6. I have a better understanding of God- our heavenly Father. In Luke 9:13-16, Jesus is talking about praying to God- asking him for anything-God will give it- because even earthly fathers give good gifts to their children- how much more does God want to bless us?
When I see my children, I want nothing but the best for them. It pains me to see them cry or be hurt. How much more does God love us? That’s the kind of love that I can get excited about- God doesn’t want to withhold His love for us- just as I don’t want to withhold my love from our girls.
There are many other lessons that I’ve learned- but those are the six things that seem more prominent. I know that the longer I am a parent- the more I will learn from our children.