Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What I'm Learning

I have been struggling to write lately.  The desire is there but the subject matter eludes me.  Nothing has driven me to a place of inspiration.  I started watching my calories this week, but who wants to read a whole post about my issues with self-control?!  There have been some major things going on in the lives of those around me, but I don't express myself well when the wounds are raw, so those will have to wait.  It just so happens that a friend posted about the things her kids are teaching her and that inspired me to do the same. 

I am currently reading a book by Angela Thomas (who I LOVE) called "52 Things Kids Need from Their Mom".  It has inspired me to take a closer look at my relationship with my kids and to be more intentional with the little things I do everyday.  I plan to write more on that later, but this new awareness has only helped me pinpoint the ways my kids are teaching me.
At almost eight years old, Paige is teaching me how to parent at a new level.  She has always been my independent child, but now that she can read, write, make PB&J, and bath herself, she rarely "needs" me.  Our relationship is changing as she matures.  I can't depend on the "needs" of her day to keep us connected.  I have to be intentional.  She still wants me to tuck her in, make her lunch, and read her stories even if she doesn't "need" or ask me to.

Brooklyn is teaching me to be sensitive. I do not understand this child.  She can be heartbroken over the silliest things.  She sheds more tears than any person I know.  We spend many hours talking about controlling emotions and then we do it all again tomorrow.  I am not emotional like Brooklyn, but I know that simply forcing her to dry her tears will not serve her in the future.  Her gentle spirit is a gift.  I need to be sensitive to the things that hurt her heart.

Emerson may be the death of me.  How a little boy who melts my heart with his smile can cause such chaos in my life is beyond me!  I am learning patience with Emerson.  His days are full of screaming fits, potty training power struggles, and arm crossed pouting.  He is happy only if I am playing trains or holding him.  He hates his car seat and refuses to ride in a shopping cart quietly.  (I apologize in advance if you ever find yourself in Target or Meijer with us.)  I know I had these issues with his biggest sister, but I had forgotten what life was like 5 years ago.  Emerson has so graciously reminded me. 

These lessons are never going to end.  They will change and they may repeat, but they won't end.  I wont' let them. Every season of parenting teaches me more and more about who I am and who I need to become. All that I can ask of myself is that I learn from yesterday.   If I ever look back on a season of parenting and can't find something I should have done differently, I have failed.  Until then, I just pray God covers the lessons I have missed.

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