(Reposted from several years ago — Though November is National Adoption Awareness Month, I celebrate being their mother EVERY day!)

He settles the barren woman in her home and makes her a happy mother of children.” (Psalm 113:9)

Today my eldest child graduated from a “restricted” drivers license to an “unrestricted” one. I met him at the DMV to finalize the paperwork, and we left as we’d come — in separate vehicles. Me in my minivan, along with Jacob and Allie, and Ian in the truck — him turning right at the stop sign as we turned left. He’s still not home (with permission, of course). And his presence is missed.

Then, only a little while ago, our youngest child rode off on her two-wheeler in earnest — taking turns and making the necessary stops. She curtsied for an audience made up of her proud parents, her Nana and Papa, and our dear friend and neighbor, Ashley. She IS home and (though not without a battle) is now sound asleep in her cozy bed. 

And I’m left wondering where time goes. It passes by in the blink of an eye — one’s children gone from cradle to college… from diaper to drivers license. Blink! And they’re grown.

The reward is great, no doubt. There is much for which to be thankful. Many memories are made along Life’s way. Moments of both laughter and tears… joys and sorrows held sacred. Treasures of the heart.

Yes, perhaps there is irony in the fact that “diaper” spelled backwards is “repaid.” 

As babies, children leave their parents little “gifts” inside each and every one — evidence that there’s life (though messy) going on.

And when these same children are grown, they leave their parents the gift of their lives — Yes, no doubt, sometimes messy! — and the memories made together through the years. 

Raising kids is tough. And it can be messy. 

But it’s beautiful, too.

Beautiful beyond description.

I wouldn’t trade any and all the messiness for a different, perhaps more seemingly perfect life. 

I don’t really think such exists.

The beauty far outweighs the ugly. The messy. The foul.

In life, “p-o-o-p” happens. (You know it’s true! And it’s spelled and stinks the same in any direction!) 

But the blessing of working through it…

Bearing one another’s burdens…

Praying for each other…

Well, I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world.

Go ahead! Turn right when your momma turns left. 

I believe we’ve taught you well, and so I trust your decisions — even when they may lead you away from us. (Just always come home, please!)

Go ahead! Take off on that bike. 

We’ll be there to catch you when you fall — or at least kiss the boo-boos when you come running home. (Please, always run home!)

Yep — I think, as a mom, I’ve been “repaid” a million times over and beyond anything I deserve.

And you know what? 

Mom spelled backwards is still and always will be M-O-M. (Dad — D-A-D — too!)

Mom (changing) diapers = Mom repaid!

I love you Ian, Jacob, and Allie! Now and Forever.