In cleaning out the van yesterday, I came across a "baby wipe" container. The flat ones that are portable and go everywhere with you when you have kids under the age of 3. It was empy, but it had the power of a time machine. Took me back to the days where I never left home without a box of wipes, a diaper and some ready-made formula. I reminisced for a second about how wonderful those days were when my children were contained in car seats and strollers, happy to be carried and pushed from store to store. But then I remembered how lovely it is that my kiddos can walk, talk, potty, poop, feed their own mouths and drink their own drinks. The greener grass on the other side of the middle school colored fence all of the sudden lost it's luster. Tonight Patrick and I went to Kindergarten open house, where we sat in kidner sized chairs and listened to a teacher talk to us for the FOURTH time - HOW CAN IT BE FOURTH!!!! - about the policies and perks of Kindergarten. It is absolutely unbelieveable that we have been through this discussion 4 times now. Michael will go to kindergarten on Tuesday. He is very excited and a tad nervous too. His biggest cheerleaders are his three sisters. They are so excited for him to join the "school team". Michael and I talked while he was in the bath tub tonight. He had a lot of questions about what his classroom will be like and told me that he was a lot excited and a little nervous. Normally, I just send the kiddos to take baths or showers. They are amazingly independent and capable when it comes to bathing... but every once in a while, I need to be needed, so I give the kids a bath. It's fun to take a giant step back in time and wash their hair and rinse it with a pitcher that I have had since my very first baby shower. They can do it themselves: I have taught them how! I love that they are able and somewhat self-sufficient... but there comes a time when a mama just wants to go back to what they are sure of. What I am sure of is that I can bathe, rock, soothe, and calm. I have practiced, tiptoeing and stomping through the early stages of raising babies and frankly, I am good at it... However, I feel insecure about the new territory that is ahead. Teens and pre-teens. Sweet and wonderful, moody and temperamental. If only I could lay them down in their warm bath and sing sweetly to them, calming fears and driving away the worries of the day. But what I am skilled at is in the past, and I am now on to a new curricullum. Working on a degree that I fear has no specific coursework, only the common threads of prayer and faith year after year, minute upon minute. What a warm bath used to soothe, now will take wisdom and encouragement. I am committed to the project, yet fear I have so much more to learn about patience and stamina; I come to the end of myself so quickly. The Father reminded me earlier this week when I was feeling so very lonely and unequipped... "I am with you. I will never leave you or forsake you." and THAT is MY warm bath. My comfort and MY security: the comfort that these days, months and years have just as much value as those early years. The years that I gave baths and rubbed backs have vanished and been replaced by attentively listening and intuitively scoping out the truth. And yet... they are both important. Both foundational. I cannot do it alone... I am so THANKFUL - He is with me. What comfort.