Wearing Your Heart on the Outside

Making the decision to have a child - it's momentous.
It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking outside your body.

-Elizabeth Stone

I agree with this 100%. Having children is a difficult task. It is a life-long commitment, full of more emotions than I ever knew existed before my girls were born. Sure, I knew having children would be difficult...but I didn't know just how hard it would be. Not really.

Funny thing is, the things I thought would be hard are not the hard things now. I was prepared for back-talk, not wanting to do homework, not wanting to do chores, wanting to spend the night at someone's house ALL THE TIME. Talking on the phone too much. I was prepared for little versions of me.

What I was not anticipating was children that:

  • Are as smart or smarter than me - have more common sense
  • Have such a sharp sense of humor
  • Can melt me with a smile
  • Are so fun to be around
  • Want to be independent
  • Are naive (and yet I have to give them room to grow, to make mistakes and learn from them - what is up with THAT?)
  • Are not really children at all, but rather 'little people'
  • Grow up too quickly
  • Are right more than they are wrong
  • Are right as often as I am if not more
  • Are honest, and trustworthy
  • Imitate everything they see

I look at my girls and am amazed at how fantastic they are. They have such big hearts. They are smarter than I imagined they would be at this age. And they are growing up so fast. This scares me more than I can say, yet at the same time I am excited for them. I am thrilled to see them do so well in this life.

It is hard to want them to grow and be independent yet want to keep them away from all of the bad things in this world. How do you keep them safe and let them grow at the same time?