I hear them say it all the time. Friends. Family. Acquaintances. Small group members. Complete strangers.
It gets easier.
And deep down I know they are right. I know they are speaking the truth.
But I forget. Everyday when a baby cries for no apparent reason. Everyday when rebellion rears its ugly head. Everyday when I feel spent and empty. I forget.
The first time around it was hard for many months. There were very few, if any nights, where we got a good amount of sleep. The days were rough too - with a little one whose colic kept us from ever going anywhere. Even when the colic wore off, it was still strangely challenging.
But it did get easier. Over time it gets easier. And now despite a few bad moments here and there, really, she's pretty easy to please. A tea party, a sticker, a movie, a hug. They appease her and remind her of the safe place she is in. The warm home always here to love her. I know she feels it.
I forget in the wee hours of the morning. When I struggle to figure out sleeping problems and eating problems in a tiny one. When I doubt my own ability to provide for my daughter. When I feel like I cannot possibly make it one more night.
And as I confess my frustrations and fears to others - sometimes whether they ask or not - time and time again they whisper God's truth to me. It gets easier.
Occasionally you have someone who thinks they are funny and amusing and says something about how it will get easier...after 18 years. Ha ha. Let's just be clear, that isn't funny to a parent who is sleep-deprived. Sleep-deprived parents are not looking for someone to laugh at them. They are looking for some hope. Some encouragement. And there are some who feel that a realistic view of the future is never easier - that things never get better - they just change. They don't want to offer you false hope - so they opt to offer you no hope at all. They live in the land where they choose to speak everything BUT the words that build up. And I really don't know how they get through a single day with that dreariness weighing down their souls.
But so many people have offered those badly-needed kind words of encouragement - those gentle quiet reminders. It gets easier. It gets better.
They don't tell me exactly what will change because well, they are smart enough to know that they aren't smart enough to know. But they speak the words again. Olive branches.
And I know that one day our bedroom will be just that - OURS. Just the two of us. I know that there will be days when my children will play while I cook supper. I know that there will be days when I can wake up at 6:00 and have some devotions and a cup of coffee before anyone calls my name. I know that my husband and I will feel more like friends, and less like business partners. Their words give me glimpses of those moments. They let me see my own hope.
And just that is enough. Enough strength to hang on until visions of hope become reality.
Thank you for continually and gently reminding me that it gets easier. That there is hope.