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Topic: Motherhood

The Long Days

February 4, 2014

little girl running

By GraceAnna Castleberry

I pulled my two-year old onto my lap several nights ago. It was past her bedtime and it had been a long day. Normally, our days together are so fun and fly by way too quickly. I can hardly keep up with all there is to do with two little girls ages two and under.

But on that day, well, it had been a hard day. I had overslept my alarm and felt behind the moment the day began. My two-year old obviously felt the same way. Every little thing became a struggle. Our trip to the library started and ended in disobedience. Lunch was a battle. And nap-time was strongly protested. Grant was busy, busy, and busy. I felt tired.

And so there we were, finally, at bedtime. I looked at her and she looked at me. “It’s time to go to sleep, AudreyKate,” I whispered as I held her close. “Rock you, minute?” she asked.

I told her to lay her head on my shoulder and we rocked. I was so tired that I didn’t want to sing our usual songs. Instead, the words to a lullaby I’d long forgotten came to my lips. It was a song my mom sang to me when I was a little girl.

Where are you going, my little one, little one

Where are you going, my baby, my own?

Turn around and you’re two, turn around and you’re four

Turn around and you’re a young girl going out of my door

As I began to sing, most of the words and tune came back to me. AudreyKate lay completely still as she listened to me sing this new song.

Turn around, turn around

Turn around and you’re a young girl going out of my door

As we rocked back and forth, memories of my own mother singing this lullaby flooded my mind. I always felt so safe and secure in her arms and I thought she had the most beautiful voice in the world.

Even as a child, the words to this song made me feel a pang of sadness. I would imagine a little girl growing up and leaving her mom.

Where are you going, my little one, little one

Little sunsuits and petticoats, where have you gone?

Turn around and you’re tiny, turn around and you’re grown

Turn around and you’re a young wife with babes of your own

Turn around, turn around

Turn around and you’re a young wife with babes of your own

As we rocked together, I couldn’t believe things had come full circle. I felt like I was just the little girl in the song, but now I am the “young wife with babes of your own.” The song had come true.

And one day, Lord willing, it will come true for my daughters.

I held AudreyKate tighter as we rocked and I listened to her little voice sing, “tun awoun, tun awoun…” A tear trickled down my cheek as I thought about her growing up so very quickly.

My mom has often reminded me that in mothering, the days are long, but the years are short.

I want to treasure even the long days, because one day I will turn around, and they will be gone.

As for man, his days are like grass;
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.

But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children’s children,
to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments.
The LORD has established his throne in the heavens,
and his kingdom rules over all.

Psalm 103: 17-19


GraceAnna Castleberry is a wife, mother, and worker at home. She lives in Louisville, KY with her husband Grant, who is pursuing a M.Div. at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. She holds a BA in Early Childhood Education from Clemson University and is passionate about building into the lives of children, primarily her own two daughters. GraceAnna and her mom host a weekly radio program, Mothering from the Heart, which can be heard Wednesdays at 11am (EST) at GraceAnna is a contributor to the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and blogs regularly You can find her on Twitter @gacastleberry.


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