Fall is my absolute favorite season of the year. I love it so well that I find myself thinking of it far more than I do any other season. And yet... I do think of and enjoy the others, too... each and every one of them. I really do. I love them all. So I suppose it shouldn't have surprised me to discover that I also love each and every season of my growing children. But to tell you the honest and strange truth; it did. I sat thinking about my children recently, and in my little mind I found myself equating the stages they go through with seasons. And I realized that I actually absolutely love them all.
Now and then, I REALLY miss little kids. They are so cute and say the darnedest things! :D Little kids are like spring time, fresh, new, young, adorable :) … In the spring time of youth, little children are also cute, cuddly, and high maintenance! They require 24 hour care, but are so precious it is hard for mothers to tear themselves away from these little ones even for a hot date who may actually resemble the little cutie(s) in some strange way. ;D Yeah... I think there is no doubt about it. Little kids are so cute and cuddly that they are pretty much loved by all. :D
And then there is summertime. When children leave the season of spring time, they are no longer little children; nor are they young adults. They are somewhere in the inbetweens… and the season is short… very short. But it is also very exciting. :) My Levi is near the end of this season right now, and I am loving it! :D In the summertime of youth there is so much going on and children begin to grow beyond "big kids." They aren’t as cute, but they are interesting and watching them is mentally invigorating. This is when they begin to say such intelligent things that their minds seem far ahead of their bodies. You wonder how a child could ever think such a thing, and as a parent or teacher it fills you with pride and wonder to think that you may have actually influenced it in some small way :D (Oh the foolish and unearned pride of an adult! :O he he!). This is also the time when they begin to surprise you by being willing to do another person’s chores ~ without pay ~ even though it is no longer fun (like it was when they were spring chicks)… This is a time when they learn that kindness is better than fairness and to live the golden rule without questions, (or at least with willing and eager hearts :) ~ even when it is hardest to do.
And then there is the fall of youth. That is where my older boys are now. In just 3 days they will be 16 and old enough to date (Wow!). In the fall of youth, these lovely "creatures" ;) change into women and men. This is the time when they don’t need adults to push them to take care of their responsibilities any longer. They are more independent and self reliant... when they want to be. ;) They actually remind themselves of the routine/schedule and do what they should be doing without having to be told! (Again, when they want to... IE. when the personal incentive is there; I haven't figured out the random pattern to this one yet. :D)
I love watching my boys come home from Seminary and getting their books out to study… on their own… without having to be told… and doing all of their work for the day in a thorough and timely manner. IT IS AWESOME! This is by far the most amazing and wonderful homeschooling year I have ever encountered! (And thanks to these boys’ example, the summer kid is quite easy to keep on track and is doing quite well, too! :D) I only wish I understood the secret incentive behind it for those days in which it is missing. :O
The fall of youth is also when young women and men decide that life is better lived selflessly (if only they were capable of seeing when they are being selfish... oh they know it all but application is so much more!); boys begin to shave (heaven help me talk my boys into this!); and girls become more careful about not wearing their clothes too tight or their ornamentation's too flamboyant (oh the challenges). It is also nice when youth of both sexes begin to smile at mom and dad more than they had just previously, and argue less to boot! ;) I have found it to be true that they have also learned the rules and usually don’t push the limits like they used to… (*so long as they understand and agree with the principles behind the rules. Are we talking about the same species here?*), nor are they as stubborn for as long when they do occasionally push the limits. This I am loving! :D I am so enjoying the progress! :D
And then there is the youthful season of winter. Wintertime is so exciting! Everything changes again and in another way, the world seems so fresh and new all over again. :D But it can also be an unsettling and scary time. A time in which they wonder what they will be... how well they will be at it... when they will marry and to whom etc? Suddenly there is so much in front of them staring them in the face and daring to intimidate them. And we hope and pray that they will have confidence through it all.
~ My Mindy is currently in winter. She is working and preparing for college. She has her own car. She has her own job. And she has her own calling at church (Mindy teaches the children in Primary. She received this calling two months before her 18th birthday… and she loves it!). She is an adult now. She has more freedom than I ever imagined a child having in my home; I suppose I forgot they would become adults so soon. I love it! I love the extra set of wheels. I love the zest for life. I love the emerging creativity and all the beauty that I see in my young adult and in the world around her as she goes about improving her surroundings with her own creative touch. She is beautiful. And I am so happy to see how she is turning out. :)
When my children were very young and were all in the stage of spring at the same time... life was so much work watching after them! There was so much teaching, tending, supervising, laboring etc… But I LOVED IT passionately!
In the summer years of childhood things got a little easier. But for a time I still missed having those cute little spring time chicks under foot. For a time, I thought I would love to spend an eternity in that season. Now that I am older and wiser (ha ha! :), and I have no children in spring, one in summer, two in fall, and one in winter... I can honestly say, "I love each and every season." I actually no longer miss spring chicks (wow... that is an accomplishment for me!). And just as in the fall when gardens are harvested and leaves turn to beautiful hues; the lessons taught are harvested as we watch our youth turn into their own unique and beautiful beings... as beautiful young women and young men. I love the fall!
I have decided… my favorite season of all ~ is the season my family is currently in. Every season is beautiful. Every season has it's rewards. And no matter what season I find myself in...
there are beauties and joys to be enjoyed...
in no other season of life!