Moving on...

Today I am working on cleaning out our mudroom cubbies. All the kids' winter stuff is getting phased out and packed away for another kiddo in another winter.

As I moved about making piles, to wash, to give away, to store, I began to fold up Olivia's little back snow pants --  and I felt that little twisting mama-heart pang.

I had purchased a pair of sturdy little black snow pants for Will during a freakishly big snowstorm in St. Louis, six years ago. He proudly wore them, and the boots and the parka that arrived that week, all week long, out in the snow. Over the years, three more siblings got a full winters' use out of them and they are still in great shape (because really, how hard are four-year-olds on snow gear?!) now it is time to pass them on. And really, I am happy to do so. I love getting rid of stuff and have no desire to keep things around that won't be used.

But they are so cute. So small. I can picture each of my babies standing tall in the little black bibs, excited to venture outside, excited to be a bit more independent. All four of my babies have worn these. It makes me sigh deep, and swallow a lump in my throat.

To be honest, I rarely miss the old days. I love each stage of parenting and cherish each phase of life for the treasure it is. I would not turn back the clock, not would I hurry time onward. I am content with each unfolding day and the fullness it brings.

Yet somehow the little black snow pants have got to me today.

I pray I will be "worthy of the calling I have received", parenting each of my children for the beautiful persons they are, treasuring their individuality and their uniqueness.

And at the end of the day, I will permit myself to be a little sad for the babies who are growing and changing, who won't ever wear this pair of little black snow pants again. Yet I know, so soon, this feeling will also pass, and I will again be looking forward to each day... loving each for it's own merit.

There is so much ahead yet to be loved and so much in today to love.

And a little pair of black snow pants will see the light of another dusky winter afternoon, not in our yard, but in another's. And the world will turn on its axis, bringing about another round of seasons... and life will go on.

It's all so beautiful, isn't it?


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