I need help. I am literally a crazy person. In less than 30 days my youngest child will graduate high school, my oldest will graduate college and head to flight training in the U.S. Air Force, and my middle son will embark on a year of studying abroad.
So why…why I ask you…would any sane person start looking through old home videos, adorable toddler pics, and a journal full of precious things her kids said when they were still so cute you could eat them up? This is not something I recommend. When your son is embarking on a career as a fighter pilot, the sound of his then-four year-old voice is enough to send any mom and dad over the edge.
But this is exactly what I did last night. I unearthed an old journal filled with quips and quotes out of the mouths of my babes, and my daughter and I had tears streaming down our faces as we laughed at the silly, poignant, loving, laugh-out-loud funny things they all said as kids. Priceless.
After an hour I said, “OK, enough, go do homework.” But she begged for more. We kept reading. We were caught up in the memories of a pretty awesome childhood (because why would I record the fights and squabbles, and hormone-fueled petulance that would soon follow?), and to be honest, it was way more fun for her than studying for the IB Physics exam. I get it.
We need to be reminded of who we are sometimes. It’s all too easy to think who and what we are now is all we have ever been. There are plenty of bumps and bruises and broken hearts in life; so much so that it’s hard to conjure up that sweet-faced self we used to be. But each of us was once a chubby-cheeked little thing who cuddled with mom and danced in the living room and made our parents SO HAPPY. We may not remember these moments — or even believe they existed sometimes — yet they did.
And if that’s not enough, hear this: throughout the scriptures you are continually reminded who you are. You are children of the most high God.
You were knit together in your mother’s womb.
You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
You were skillfully created.
You are precious.
You are known.
I’m so happy I jotted down those treasured moments with my three kids all those years ago. But if you don’t have your mom’s journal, nor your every move documented on social media, or you’ve been through so many bumps in the road that your brain is a little fuzzy on the whole “precious child” thing, don’t you dare fret. You have the one reminder you will ever need: you have the word of God himself saying, “I have called you by name. You are mine.”
Charla Belinski is the Assistant Pastor and Director of Children, Youth and Families at Snowmass Chapel.