Throughout my life, I've often wondered where all the time has gone, especially during those transition times throughout each year - New Year's, end/beginning of a school year, etc. However, I'm pretty sure the last month takes the cake for being the fastest month of my lifetime. In two more days, Gerrit will be one month old, and I seriously have no idea how all those days have flown by so quickly!
Some of my friends around here have asked me recently if I miss teaching yet. In all honesty, yes, there are some aspects of teaching that I wish I could still experience right now - daily interactions with the students, mostly. I still see the students around (that's what happens when you live on the campus of the school!), but it's different now. They ask about the baby. I ask about school. Then the conversation is basically over. I am a little sad to be missing out on my students' lives for this time, especially the 12th graders, since they'll graduate, move on, and I won't get to see them anymore. Additionally, I miss the mental stimulation of teaching; I was so used to being mentally active from the time I woke up until the time I came home from school (sometimes later!). Sometimes I miss the kind of work that I did as a teacher.
But - although I love teaching and miss it to some degree - I wouldn't trade my time at home with Gerrit for anything in the world.
The transition to motherhood has been far better than I could have imagined (praise God for that!). I have learned a lot about myself in the last month - both in terms of abilities and limitations. It turns out that I can function better than I thought I could on less sleep than I'm used to; it probably helps that I only have one child and am able to sleep during the day if I want to, though! I am learning patience (a lifelong process for me), discipline (what do I do with my time when G-man is sleeping?), and above all service. I don't think I've ever served someone as wholeheartedly and joyfully as I serve my son every day. He maybe doesn't know it yet, but every interaction I have with him comes from love, and I hope someday he learns how closely linked service and love are.
I have learned even more about our little boy. It truly amazes me how complex this little guy is. I'm learning about the things he likes and dislikes, what his different cries mean (that one has been tough, but I think I'm figuring it out), how to get him to sleep well, and how to keep him awake while he's eating (that one is probably the most difficult of all!). As his personality starts to show and develop, I look forward to learning even more about him.
As Michael and I have transitioned into the roles of parents, I have been especially grateful that we are able to do this together. Michael comes home from work, and jumps right into the father/husband routine - making or getting us dinner, doing dishes, holding and calming Gerrit during Gerrit's inevitable crabby time in the evening, etc. If I need help in the middle of the night with something, Michael willingly (and sleepily) gets up to assist me, whether it's to get me more water or to hold the baby while I wash my hands after changing a particularly explosive diaper. :) What a blessing it is to be able to work together and support each other in our different roles. God certainly knew what he was doing when he designed the family.
I've got a lot more time on my hands now than what I'm used to, so I've been doing a lot of reflecting on all of these things and more. I'd like to encourage you to do the same. Take some time today to consider some of the things that you are grateful for in your own life, whether you are in a time of transition or a regular routine. How are you serving those around you? What little blessings have you experienced lately?