Friday, August 7, 2009

 "Do you love me?"

I am such a work in progress, have so far to go, am just learning as I parent. How often I wonder - When did I get old enough to have four kids? Some days I feel like a little girl, dressing up in her mommy's clothes. I see the baby growing inside. I see the little ones running around. They are mine. I don't want to ruin them. What am I doing? What do I have to offer? So many wrong steps already taken. What effect does it have on them? Everything I do directly affects these precious people - who have been entrusted to me. And then the panic... And in the midst of it all I can do is call out to the one who indeed, entrusted me with them for a time. He knows my inadequacies, the real and imagined, and he knows my strengths. He knows I may not make the healthiest meals, I may be having a series of very tired days, perhaps I haven't taken them all to the park in a long time, or gotten on the floor with them much lately. I haven't been offering alot of educational play and activities to prepare them for the upcoming school year. And then there are the times that my tone isn't what it should be. Or I just plain don't want to do the grown up and selfless thing. And my mind is telling me "You have been failing them!" But my God is not telling me that. Instead he points out what I have done - which has made a positive impact. My capacity to love seems to be constantly on the rise. When I think I'm at the top a time comes when I look up, and up, and up and I see that there is so much farther to go in the quest to love perfectly. I will never reach the top while I am here. Wow do I love these little boys. And some days that is enough. Because that love swoops in And it floats down to cover some of those mistakes The unmet expectations And the times I have failed them. It cradles them and gives them security. And it has far reaching and lasting effects. ********************************************* On a particularly difficult day my Jay was testing all of the limits he could possibly think of. I was trying to be consistent. I was trying to deal with things immediately. I was trying to explain why what he was doing was wrong. Again, and again, and again. But mommies do wear down at some point. Which was his goal I am sure. And after several hours of this I just had to stop, walk out side, and breathe in some fresh air. It was one of those moments. A moment where I wondered "what in the world am I doing? I don't know how to do this!" Jay was not backing down. That stubborn streak, which we do so admire, was breaking down my calm, dissolving my patience, and eating through all of my carefully laid "proven parenting" techniques. I took some deep breaths and walked by my flower gardens. I asked for help. I went back in. There he was, sitting at the dining room table, looking a little bit worried. He was playing with a paper airplane, but his focus wasn't really on it. "Mom?" His voice was different now. Soft. Kind of sorry sounding. I looked over at him, feeling tired all over again. "Do you love me?" His eyes told me that he was very serious. He wasn't playing games. "Of course I love you Jacob! I always love you." I'm not sure if it was the tiredness, the pregnancy, or just the moment, but strong emotions began to come to the surface. "But not always mom. You don't always love me. Just sometimes. Like when I'm good." I ran to where he was and I scooped him up. Contrary to his usual on-the-go self, he let me hold him. I was blinking away tears. "Jay, I always love you. I love you when you obey. I love to see you grow and learn and understand. But I love you when you look me in the eye and do the opposite of what I tell you to do. It hurts me when you do that, but it never ever causes me to love you less!" I pulled back and looked him straight in the eye, hoping that the point I was making was very clear. He wasn't as emotional as I was. More just logically taking it all in. "But how can you mom? I don't understand that. How can you love me when I do bad things?" I swear, that is what he said - word for word. I had to pause and gather my thoughts. He's four. I'm 28. And I know that question pops into my head on a regular basis. "How can you love me when I do bad things? I don't understand!" I have posed that question to God over and over as I have gone my own way, made mistakes, forgotten him, taken control, and then ultimately saw the error in it all and came back to him in tears. And until this moment with Jay, the question still kind of lingered for me..."How can he? Does he...?" The more logical side of me knows that He loves me no matter what. But that little girl longing for affirmation and still wondering... She just isn't always sure. But in that moment all questions were gone. "Because you are my son! You were given to me as a special gift Jay. You are my boy. There is no way I could ever look at you and not feel love. I can feel alot of other things within that love, but the love is always there. You are my son!" He smiled. "Yeah, I am." The rest of the day brought a few more moments of testing. I mean, he is four and he is in the midst of so much learning. I suppose testing is a stepping stone to growing. But I knew things were a little bit different for both of us. The security he had gained seemed to have softened his stubbornness a bit. And as for me, well I couldn't get these words out of my head, "You are my daughter! I delight in you. How could you ever think I would love you less based on what you do or don't do?! You are my daughter!" And I just kept smiling, thinking "Yeah, I am!"

6 comments:

Debbie said...

This is just beautiful and honest.
And I often wonder when I got old enough to be the grown-up.

Mel said...

Isn't it wonderful how we can see what God does in us as we parent our kids...even in the testing and trials and the sweet times...

Being a mom just is...

Anne Elizabeth said...

This post was amazing and exactly what I needed to read today. Your conversation with Jay made me cry.

"Rachel" said...

So, so awesome Wendi. Don't you love when God sends teachable moments - for them AND us? :)

Love ya!

Angela said...

Oh Wendi! That was so beautiful. God has given you such a beautiful heart and a teachable spirit that cultivates the spirits of others.

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

I've read this twice now over the past few days, and I am still trying to get it all down in my heart. This is a truth I know in my head so well - that He loves me no matter what - but sometimes my heart can't understand it. I'm trying to get there - and reading things like this makes it a little more clear to me.

Love that boy. Out of the mouths of babes, huh??? :)