We have a tradition in our house: on either of the boys’ birthdays, we look at old pictures of them. This, of course, leads to teasing about naked baby pictures and 1-year-cake-all-over-the-face pictures. We bring it back around to how thankful we are that God gave them to us. (After all, we don’t want to have to pay for expensive therapy later.)
On the outside, the boys hate this tradition. They hate when I go on and on about how little they used to be and the funny things they used to do. (In the early mornings, Hunter used to tell me “HunterBoy” stories about his imaginary superhero. Don’t worry, I’ll be sure to tell you more about that another day. Kaden’s first attempt at crawling resembled the downward dog yoga pose.)
I can also tell–because I am MOM, with eyes in the back of my head and all–that they secretly love that I remember and treasure their past.
I found some old journals recently. Some of the entries were mundane: “God, please help me to have the energy for the day ahead.” Since when am I not praying that prayer over my day?
Other entries were downright painful to read. I have forgotten, or at least put out of my mind, some of the things that I have gone through over the years: rejection, illness, arguments, fears, lost jobs.
Thankfully, I have never had to go through those things alone. God has been there in each situation, whether I acknowledged Him or not. We have a history together. I will never admit that I enjoy looking back at how immature I was, all of the ways I messed up, or the painful situations. My children are thankful for what I remember; I’m thankful for what God forgets. “He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.” Psalm 103:12 (NLT) He forgives my sins while still treasuring me.
My children may eventually hope that I forget their past…like when they bring their first girlfriend home for us to meet. That’s the reward of parenthood–embarrassing your kids–isn’t it?