I spent a good chunk of the morning/early afternoon at a friend's house, chatting, praying, and watching the kids play. I love going to her house because she lives out in the country. It's a commitment to drive over there. It gives me a couple of minutes of the driving I used to do all the time when I lived in Southern California. And, I always leave with a nugget of something. Understanding, peace, happiness. Something.
We spent some time talking about teenagers and some specific struggles of anonymous kids and I found myself alternately missing being involved in high school ministry (something I didn't really think I'd say for at least a few more years), thinking that the teen years are literally more than a decade away for my child, and starting to wonder if everyone is sure there's not a way to freeze your kids at a young age so they don't grow up and go out into that big scary world.
I'm grateful to know moms who have kids older than mine. They seem to have found their mama groove and it's encouraging to see that the toddler years are survivable. It's possible to have more than one kid and still sleep a little bit. That eventually, I won't have to keep my eye on my child most of the time to ensure he doesn't try riding a bike down the stairs (well, my child may do that when he gets older too, just to see what happens, but today, he had no idea of the consequences).
I hope I can offer that encouragement to a mom with younger kids than mine someday.