Thursday, February 9, 2012
My heart has always taken to parenting Jay a little bit differently. They are all so unique, and deserve to be mothered as such.
Jay... he's full of life, and he is full force, and I love him fiercely. Ya'll have read that before.
When he was a colicky baby and a screaming, head-banging-on-the-floor toddler, I had these visions of an angry fist pounding teenager... ;) I loved that little terror, but could only imagine what the more grown version would be.
I believe we are far from perfect and made plenty of mistakes with that baby and toddler. But I also know that we were infused with the truth that consistency is key. We fought that battle hard.
I can remember consistently following through on our expectations and guidelines with him and being so weary from his testing and stubbornness. Some days it seemed the weariness was for naught.
Oh to be this tired, and have no results... when will it change? What do I need to do?
But life is full of v e r y s l o w processes, isn't it? They happen over time and can be so subtle that you don't notice - until you do. And then you wonder why you never noticed before and you look back and can't help the grin, because it was there all along, you just couldn't see it until it was big enough to crash through the blindness of your human lens.
He's quiet and thoughtful and can be reasoned with easily. The one I thought would never listen and obey.
When he's tired I get a glimpse of that obstinate toddler with the blonde cowlicks, which insisted upon going in conflicting directions. Mirroring his personality maybe?
But, to be fair, he comes by that wayyyy honestly. When his daddy and mommy are tired?? Wow. Pretty is not the first word that comes to mind.
We've been having these issues in the morning. Its getting better, because I set an alarm for him and lay out his clothes by his bed every evening. This has helped. But we still tend to have a morn struggle several times per week.
He doesn't move fast. He enjoys life, and embraces lovely distractions at every opportunity.
Ughh... "comes by it honestly?" Again?
Yes - I do know about embracing lovely distractions at every opportunity. And part of that is what adds to the morning tension.
Me. It's me. I don't plan my mornings out as well as I need to. I get distracted and off track. Organization and order are not dominate strengths in this girl.
Oh how I try. The alarm, the clothes setting out, grinding the coffee before bed and setting the coffee pot on a timer, - these have all been my attempts at smoothing out the morning. They have helped, some. But my attitude is a huge proponent in the struggle as well.
I pray for a servant's heart as I indulge in a "why should I have to do everything for all of you?" kind of attitude.
I'm tying shoes and I'm changing diapers. I'm toasting toast and cutting it into three strips. Butter and a sprinkling of cinnamon + sugar. I give the morning meds and fasten the leg braces. I make the lunches and find the shoes and pour the milk and sop up the milk and mop the floor.
And it's 8:20.
And we need to be in the car at... 8:15 at the latest.
So, I feel that warm feeling that starts in my cheeks and burns in my lungs.
It seems to control my actions and has a weird power over my words. The tone, the volume, the inflection.
What happened this morning illuminated my awareness and fueled my resolve.
My resolve to change our mornings - and pretty much do that at all costs.
He was on the floor, tying his shoes, quite possibly with the slowest sense of importance that I have ever in my life seen.
That ugly lung burning seemed to feed off of his sluggishness. Like a small snowball that gains speeds rolling down a steep hill, it increased in this now quite embarrassing, abominable way.
Words were tense. When we finally did get out the door, quite late, not one of the boys were unscathed by the tension in the atmosphere.
And I can see it now, but then it was all "must get them there on time, must not allow them to undermine my authority, must move, can't slow down and dwell on why this is making my insides feel like they are tearing apart"
See, this mothering thing? I am so far from having it figured out. Sometimes I feel like a little girl, dressed up in my mommy's clothes, pretending that I am one.
Sometimes I want to curl up in a ball and shut out the demands. Sometimes I reach for this proverbial time card and desperately search for the place to turn it in... just for once, for a slice of quiet, and a moment of slow.
He looked at me.
He got out of the van and went to walk up to the brick school building, and then turned and his eyes locked into mine.
I had to catch my breath, because it flooded me with moments when those eyes locked mine in the past. Other moments when my lungs burned and all I knew was exhaustion and I felt like the mom thing was so beyond me.
"Why did you yell?"
- I could barely hear it because I was tending to K's walker and grabbing for back packs. But my heart would've heard it miles away, because it had been whispering this all the way to school. It didn't need a 6 year old's articulation anyway.
He was not crying, not in a babyish way at all. But one large tear seemed frozen right under his left eye. His eyes said so much and I approached him, not even caring that lines of cars were behind my van. I told him I loved him and that I was sorry... and that we would talk more at home.
I knew that I had wounded him. And in that moment of motherhood meets sin nature - I would have given just about anything for a redo.
I know I will mess up again. But this morning was a turning point for me. And this blog post is part of my way of putting my stake in the ground.
I know they are only little for a moment.
I know that they are a gift.
These truths tug at the corners of my heart and beg me to respect them in a million ways.
Do they come up with immeasurable ways to inconvenience me? I could look at it that way if I chose.
Is being a mom about convenience - in any way, shape, or form.?
And so I choose not to.
They need me. They need me to set the tone in a way that nurtures them. Yes, they need boundaries, and they need to be encouraged to do what is right. Perhaps even to get tasks done in a more timely manner. But they need me to come along side them and do this with them lovingly.
Frankly, they need more than I can give. And I will be doing well to rely on God's strength within me to pour into their lives.
Heaven knows, I can not do this alone.
Jay will be home in about 40 minutes. We are going to talk about things. And we will pray about tomorrow morning, and we will thank God for new days, new starts, second chances.
I can hardly wait to see him, and embrace him, and tell him how much I love him.