She had jumped out quickly and forgotten her water bottle.  I trotted back to the car to get it for her and this is what greeted me on the seat where she had been sitting.  At that moment, with the familiar sting and quick blinking that I often do when I’m holding back tears, I realized that she is still  my baby, but she is growing up.

Emma is off to day camp this week.  On Monday morning she was up at 5 am excited to go.  And then we got in the car for the 45 minute drive and she needed her blankies and teddy bear to snuggle with on the way there.  She tucked her blankies over her sweet six year old chubby legs and snuggled her bear close.  As we backed out of the driveway and I looked in the rear view mirror, my heart couldn’t help but smile.  So sweet.

But then, I had to drop her off.  I was expecting her to jump out and run off – that’s what she does.  And it is what she did.  But then she paused, and ran up to me and hugged.  Not once but twice – aahhh….  And like a butterfly, she was gone again.  Off to find new friends and a new world for the day.

I won’t lie, I teared up on the way home thinking of how many times she had been to this camp dropping her big brothers off, and now it was her turn.  (Good thing it is a camp where she comes home each night, or I’d of been a blubbering idiot!)

As I drove, it hit me.  I am in the pause.  She is growing up so quickly, but still needs to pause and be reassured and get some loving.  I need to enjoy the pause.  That moment in between.  Before long, she won’t pause, she’ll just go, and I’ll just stand and watch and wave.  So for now, I am enjoying the pause.  I’m savoring the hugs yes, but more so the innocence and the way she looks at me and analyzes me.  The way she watches what I do and wants to be like me.

So, in this pause, I want her to see Jesus.  I want her, in the times when she is pausing to hear His words whispered over her.  I want to make the trip and enjoy the stories she is telling me.  I want to listen to her and make eye contact.  Oh how I want those things.  And often, I do those things.  (Just so you know, Often I’m scolding and saying no and being VERY frustrated at my strong willed one – so don’t think I’m THAT mom – you know, the put together say the right thing all the time one!)

This week has me thinking about my life, and maybe yours.  When you pause, who is it that you run to?  Is it Jesus?  And when we have such a great counselor right there for us, why is it that we look for others to fill the void.  I often feel as if I don’t have “friends.”  I get worked up because no one calls and says – hey, wanna go to dinner or come over and visit, etc.  But as Emma was in my arms Monday morning, as I saw her sweet innocence laying on the seat, left behind, I was reminded that their is only one person that is ALWAYS there to run to, my sweet friend Jesus.

After wiping tears, I prayed for sweet Emma (and the other kids as well).  You see, soon she will be too cool to run to me, and she’ll have to decide.  She will go through the same people pleasing attacks that her mama does.  My prayer was simple – God, teach her to run to you when she pauses.  Teach her that you are her comfort, and your Holy Spirit dwells in her.

My baby is growing up.  But Jesus, well, he is the same… yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  Praising Him for that reassurance.