Wednesday, January 29, 2014

From Baby, to Toddler, to Adult; It's Happening Way too Fast

I have read a lot of articles and blogs lately that go into detail about the reality of day to day life with kids.  The authors expose their frustration and exasperation with lack of sleep, tantrums, outings and the general neediness of their children.  These commentaries are witty, funny and have an attraction that comes with honesty.  Most of them have a paragraph or sentence at the end that states how their kids are worth it all-every sleepless night, every time they can't leave on time, and every tantrum in the middle of the grocery store.

This past week, I have been especially appreciating our not so little baby.  The trials of parenthood seem small lately.  All of a sudden it seems, she is growing into a toddler.  I turn around to find her investigating anything she can get her hands on.  Recently, she found a dead bug and decided to munch on it as well as some cords lying on the floor.  Yeah, Mommy and Daddy haven't quite baby-proofed everything.

I realized how quickly 9 months has passed.  She is becoming more and more independent by the day.  As I was giving her a hug the other day, the future flashed before my eyes.  It was as though I could feel myself hugging this same little girl 20 some years from now.

I am letting go to allow her explore her world now, and I will be then, too.  Whether she decides to go off to school, start a business, travel, get married-whatever it is- I will give her the same tight squeeze before sending her on her way to find out what this world is all about.  I want to hold her longer.  I don't want her to get hurt or find that what seemed so exciting isn't that great.  No, I don't want her to feel the sting of rejection and disappointment, but I know she must.  It's a part of growing up that she must learn to endure and then, press on.

Rocking her last night, I told her that no matter what, we would be there for her.  No matter where she was, what happened, or what she did or didn't do...her parents would always be there to squeeze her tightly when she needed it.  That's our job, and we will never quit.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas, Darling

On Christmas morning,
I don't want presents under the tree.
No, that's not what I need.

I hope you give me that smile.
I hope to unwrap a giggle
with every single tickle.
Please lay your head on my chest,
and throw your arms around my neck.
This is what I ask.
Forget about the rest.

Look up at me and smile.
Talk to me for awhile.
Grab my leg to pull yourself up,
and reach for me when you want to stand up.
This is what I ask.
I don't need lots of stuff.

Rest in my arms.
Go to sleep for awhile,
And let me hold you precious child.
To know you-
is to know love.
You truly are
a heaven sent, gift from above.

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Gift of a Child to an Imperfect Mother

I write a lot about my little girl these days...probably because she teaches me so much.  She is teaching me to enjoy life and to savor every part of my day with her.  I had a moment of intense gratitude today.  As she splashed and played in the tub, looking up at me every few minutes so I could see her laugh,  my heart burned with warmth.  I thought back to when we found out we were pregnant, going through the pregnancy, labor, bringing her home, staying up with her at night as a newborn and seeing this ever changing being before my eyes.  I teared up thinking of how fast it has all gone by.  My little baby is getting bigger.  She brings so much light to my life.

I can't help but smile when she waves at the Christmas tree every time we walk into the living room or when she tries to put her finger in my mouth so I'll pretend to eat it.  Yes, there are times when I just don't know what she wants, when my nerves are fried and I just want her to go to sleep so I can have some quiet.  Yet, all of that frustration seems to disappear instantly when I watch her sleep, see her play and hear her talk to her toys.  I am full of gratitude tonight.

I wonder sometimes how God could entrust me with the task of mothering her.  I worry that I'll "mess her up".  I try to remember that God is bigger than me and my fallacies.  He knows what he's doing, and that includes taking care of this beautiful baby girl.  He will parent alongside me.  I cannot control a lot of things, but I can pray for her and with her.  I can teach her to look to her heavenly father.  I can show her that although I have weaknesses, I can admit them and strive to let God be greater through them.

Yes.  I am feeling very blessed.  What an amazing gift.  To love a child.

Friday, November 29, 2013

My Kid is Just as Good as Yours; A Mother's Rant

Becoming a parent is such a whirlwind of an experience, you find yourself trying to get as much information as possible.  You want that little human you are caring for to become a decent adult.  There are those you seek out to answer parenting questions.  However, some" information" from others is unsolicited.  And it's annoying.  "Oh, your baby isn't __________ yet?  You need to _______,_______ and __________.  MY son/daughter did that a lot earlier."  Yeah.  Annoying.

Also,  is it really necessary for us to compete as parents?  Why must gatherings of small children include parents spending most of their time volleying back and forth with what their child can do? Must we try to use our children to one up each other.  Is that really necessary?  Are we that insecure?  Do we realize we are elevating our child higher than the others based on their performance?  We are also being prideful.  So what if some kids develop a little bit slower.  So what if they develop faster.  Why must we compare our children when they are all so very unique and different.

I just want to be able to spend time with other parents without the nonsense.  Maybe my little girl doesn't crawl yet, because Mommy and Daddy hold her a lot.  I don't care what anyone says. I will enjoy holding this little girl as long as I can.  I will enjoy only having one child right now that I can give my full attention to.  I am just so tired of hearing others say that we spoil her.  If that is your opinion, you are entitled to it...but I didn't ask to hear it!

Being a parent is hard enough.  Why can't we all just support one another and embrace the differences?  Okay.  Rant over.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A Mother's Fear

I'm new at being a Mommy, but there is one thing I have found that most of us Mothers have in common.  Fear.  

My current fear is of my child choking on food since she will be starting solids soon.  I fear leaving her in the care of others that are not family members.  I fear that this big old world is going to hurt her precious little heart.  I fear letting go.  I fear seeing her in pain.  I really fear letting her live her life.  I don't want her to know heartache or disappointment.  I want everything to be rose petals and sunshine every day.

I know the fear will be about different things as she gets older but with the same premise; that my child will not know pain.  How can I expect this when my God did not spare his own, perfect, only Son?  I think it is also about me feeling good and warm inside...because, if she knows pain, I know pain.  That is the plight of a parent.  Perhaps we complain about the pain our children face so much, because we don't want to feel it, either.  

The Bible doesn't dedicate chapters to the anguish God the Father felt over his Son going through such brutality.  No.  It says he gave his Son, his only Son.  He just did it.  His son had a destiny, and so does my daughter.  I pray God would give me the wisdom, strength and hope that can only be found in him when she faces trouble in this life.  It is not my job to shelter her from pain if that is part of his plan.  It hurts just to type that, but I know she is God's before she is mine.  As I whispered to her a few minutes ago before she drifted off to sleep,
Mommy loves you.  Daddy loves you.  And God loves you as much as Mommy and Daddy love you combined plus a trillion times more. 


Friday, September 20, 2013

I See the Hand of God

I see the Hand of God
as you drift off to sleep,
as I stroke your cheek.
When you wake up with a smile
after I catch your eye.
In that hearty little giggle,
when I give you a tickle...

I see the Hand of God
when I think back to my labor,
as you were entering the world,
I could see our Savior-
holding my hand, fulfilling his promise
of a life sent to earth-
whom he knew in heaven first.

I see the hand of God
every time I look at you-
radiating from that doll-like face
is a reflection of the One who made it.
What a privilege to know you
sweet little girl,
What an honor to hold you
in this big, big world.

I'll do the best I can,
to love and protect,
and teach you to do your best.
May I parent you in a way
that others will be able to say,
"I see the hand of God."
as you go about your way-
each, and every day.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Leave the Dishes in the Sink

     Fireworks of fireflies in these summer evenings seem to make time stand still.  I love standing on the back deck at dusk as the back yard is illuminated.  These tiny little bugs light up just as darkness enters.  Somehow, I hear their lights flash on and off by the edge of the woods.  I eagerly scan from left to right and back again with a half grin on my face.  I can feel the peace well up inside of me.  I breathe in deeply, and enjoy the show.
     Little moments like these are ones I never want to end.  I want to bask in the glow of the fireflies that come to visit me.  I want the sense of well being that washes over me as I watch them to keep bubbling up. I want the knowledge to resonate beyond that back deck that even the smallest creatures in this world have a purpose.  Why is it that once my feet step over the precipice back into the house, those silent lessons fade?
     There are a so many things that cloud the uncluttered state of mind the fireflies invite.  Reality bulrushes me.  My mind that was as clear as the sky on a crisp fall day just seconds earlier, is suddenly stuffed with thoughts and worries that mangle themselves into a heap.  Life summons me to get my work done, get my work done within my home, care for my husband and child while I do my work, and give to others.  All of this getting stuff done fills up my time, my life.  Firefly moments are what I hope to increase.
     I have decided to indulge in more of those moments with my family.  A beautiful, unplanned opportunity presented itself recently.  I watched my daughter become mesmerized as her Daddy strummed the guitar.  Her eyes were fixed on his fingers as the chords changed, and her little mouth hung open.  Our family sat in her nursery for those few precious moments creating a memory.  I will cherish that time and tell her about it as she gets older.
     Hesitation knocked when I thought of all that needed to be done that day, but I didn't answer.  I decided to forget about the dishes, leave the laundry unfolded, the report least for a few more minutes.  In the years to come, I will remember the harmony that day created.  I won't remember the house was dirty.  No.  I'll be glad I decided to leave the dishes in the sink.