I think I’ve learned more in the past four years of parenthood, than I ever learned in all my years of college. My AA, BS, and both MAs did a meager job in preparing me for motherhood. I think most parents would agree with me when I say, this is a whole different ball game.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m NOT complaining! In fact I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but I think I learn more from my children than they do from me!
Am I the only one that feels this way??
I’d like to share with you all that I learned from my children today.
1. Think of others before yourself.
This morning my sleepy, half naked 4 year-old walks into our bathroom rubbing her eyes. Kevin gently asks, “Why are you awake, sugar bear? You should still be sleeping.” Without hesitation, Laynie lovingly replied, “Daddy, I didn’t want to miss you leaving for work.”
How precious is that? She could’ve rolled over and gone back to sleep…but no, she doesn’t want to miss a second of daddy time. I must admit, when it comes to things like sleep, I’m not thinking of anyone but myself.
2. It’s ok to cry.
About an hour later, Gideon had OT. I love his OT, but Gideon is not a fan. She makes him do the hard work. And as much as he wants the comforting arms of his mama, he’s got to do it. And although it breaks my heart to see him struggle and cry, I know it’s best for him.
In this moment today, I wondered if this is how God feels when I’m crying. He would love to pick me up and spare me the pain and tears, but He knows something better will come from my struggle.
3. Focus on what matters.
Fast forward to 11 am, I’m trying to quickly get in-and-out of the chiropractor’s office and of course, both kids have to poop and now Gideon is screaming because he’s starving. After both bottoms are clean and a bottle is made, Gideon is lying on the couch (feeding himself no less) and Laynie for the millionth time says “Mommy…look! Really look!”
She found a Tonka Truck and apparently it did a million cool things. And in that moment, my first thought was, “I don’t care about Tonka Trucks!”
But my toy preference wasn’t what mattered here. Laynie was. And something was new and exciting to her and because she’s worthy of my love, affection, and attention, I had a responsibility (and a privilege really) to focus on HER. She (and Gideon) matter.
4. Don’t take people for granted
After being thrown off my “schedule”, we still found time to grab lunch and eat with Mimi. I hate to admit this, but we rushed in and rushed out. I kept trying to shove food down Laynie, but she was persistent in loving on and playing with Mimi. Unlike my daughter, I most often take time with my mom for granted. Laynie never does. To her, Mimi hung the moon & the stars.
Adulthood sometimes takes the luster out of life. We forget that those we love won’t always be here. Laynie reminded me today how I shouldn’t take those I love for granted…especially my mama.
5. I’m never really lost.
On our way to Southlake, we got lost because my phone hasn’t been updated since ios5 (yes, I’m an old lady who doesn’t like change…but that’s a whole other issue). In my frustration, I blurted out, “Well, we’re lost!” And leave it to Laynie to respond with, “Mom! God always finds us! I bet He’s looking for us right now!”
I’m sorry, what 4 year old says things like that?? Apparently, mine does. Wise want-to-be-eighteen-woman that she is… Sometimes I feel like God speaks through her just to make a point. Maybe the point today was that we’re never really lost…just too busy to notice God is there.
6. True beauty is within.
After leaving the hair appointment I was afraid we’d never get to, Laynie tells me how beautiful we both look. My initial thought was, “Well you do, but I have no make-up on, none of my clothes fit…” I’ll stop there with the self tear down. You see where I’m going don’t you?
My definition of beauty has been tainted by mainstream media. Laynie sees my heart and she loves me the way I am. She hasn’t yet been taught by the world to judge by appearances. And I’ll be a fool if she learns it from me. So my response to her sweet compliment was, “We really do, don’t we???”
And while we’re talking about visible beauty, what about my Gideon? He may never know what his mama looks like, but you know what? His love for me & others will never be conditional upon appearance. How refreshing is that in a world that bases beauty & worth on our exterior?
7. Problems are solvable.
After dinner, we had to go to Laynie’s ballet class. But before we left, she wanted to help make Gideon’s bottle. I told her no, because we were in a hurry (are you seeing a pattern here?), but because she was insistent, powdered similac went all down the front of her leotard. My response- “See Laynie, now it’s all over your leotard!” Her response- “Well, mom, we can always just dust it off!”
Yes…yes we can. Looking back how silly for me to be upset. All I could see was something happened that I was trying to avoid…and here is my 4 year old, with a simple solution to my perceived problem. Who’s the adult here? Problems are solvable.
8. Just dance
Laynie loves life. It’s apparent in all she does- especially in her dance class. I don’t want to sound like a mean parent, but Laynie got Kevin’s sense of rhythm (or lack there of). But she doesn’t care. She’s that little girl, front a center, off beat but smiling, and pushing through to the end because she loves to take a bow and she loves the applause.
It doesn’t matter whose watching. Some days you just gotta dance.
9. Roll with it.
Poor Gideon, we drug him through a lot today. After some hard therapy, we drove all over the DFW area and Gideon just rolled with it. As long as he was fed and dry, he was content to roll in the stroller and chew on some toys.
I don’t remember the last time I was content to just roll with the events as they unfolded. Wouldn’t life be easier, if we could just take the day as it comes? Roll with the punches?
I love my kids. Like most parents, I think they’re pretty stinkin’ awesome. Crazy to think God would loan me such unique gifts. And if I would ever just slow down, all of my days could be spent savoring each moment that has been given. Like Laynie and Gideon, I would realize that life can be (and was meant to be) enjoyed!!
If I could go back to this morning, I would tell the 6:30 AM “me” to slow down, take a deep breath and get ready….because today is going to be a great day full of God-given blessings. Don’t miss it because of your “schedule.”