Mommy’s soon learn the mess is a necessary price to pay
in cultivating an imagination.
(stay tuned….tomorrow I will be blogging more about
cultivating an imagination in your children)
The Father sent His Son on a lost and found mission.
For the Son of Man has come to seek
and to save that which was lost.”
I was found in 1982.
When were you found?
I have another new form of punishment and torture for my children – the Internet. Now that I blog, they are under constant scrutiny to provide the next fodder for my cyber-soliloquy. I even carry a small notebook in my purse, and doodle random actions and exclamations, and keep a running OneNote document on each child.
For years I have attempted to journal the comical things they say and do on my daily calendar, or in small notebooks for each child. But, who can keep two decades of calendars? The notebooks were read and re-read so many times the pages fell out. So, now I have the means of chronicling their lives and not only broadcasting it to a much wider audience, I can have it preserved forever
*as long as my hard-drive doesn’t crash (again)
*as long as I remember to backup my computer
*as long as someone doesn’t spill milk on my computer (again)
*as long as I remember yet another password
Now, when I hear bickering, I pull out my notebook, not always so discretely, and begin writing. If I don’t have a notebook, I grab a napkin or a scrap piece of paper. When they notice the writing, they sometimes begin to elevate their diction to a level of acceptability.
Sometimes, I may just casually ask, “What did you just say? I’m not sure I got that right?” with hands posed industriously with pen or keyboard, and they give me THE LOOK.
We all know THE LOOK. All kids use THE LOOK on their parents. It is when their eyebrows and lips morph into the expression that quietly shouts both “What are you thinking?” and “Are you really my parent?”
Then I give them the PARENT LOOK back.
We all know the PARENT LOOK. All children have seen the PARENT LOOK after they have dared question the superior wisdom and authority of their parental unit. It is the look when the eyebrows raise and the lips barely smirk, and we are quietly and victoriously shouting back,
“Yes, I AM thinking” and
“Yes, I AM your parent” but it adds,
“And if you don’t behave better, I am going to wear leopard stretch pants or a sweater with beads, mirrors and sequins sewed all over it the next time I take you out in public…and THEN I am going to blog you. Because, remember,
for the 499th time,
This blog was inspired after reading my daughter’s blog, an honest reflection about the ways she’s like me and the ways she isn’t.
I realized we’ve been tugging on opposite sides of this struggle in life from the very beginning.
The best advice my Lamaze coach gave me when I was pregnant with my first child had nothing to do with labor, contractions or breathing.
It had to do with the appearance of our newborn children. She shared her story of expecting a petite, dark-haired little girl, a little miniature of herself. Instead, she had a chubby, red-headed little boy with freckles. She adored her little guy, but was in shock because he didn’t look anything like her or anybody else on either side of the family.
She warned us, “Have no expectations about what your child is going to look like.”
I have thought about this over and over – her wisdom has permeated many aspects of my life, whether she intended it to or not.
I learned to have no expectations.
From a young age, I learned she had her own ideas in life about the world around her. She didn’t see the world through my eyes, she saw it through her own.
It wasn’t wrong, it wasn’t rebellion, she wasn’t rejecting me.
She just wasn’t a little Mini-Me.
She didn’t follow my exact taste in clothes, decorating, or crafts. She didn’t like sewing. She didn’t like museums. She didn’t like camping.
As I learned to let go of my ideas on how things should look, should function and should be, I was blessed to see her own taste, confidence and faith develop.
This was a valuable lesson to learn, since she was the first of six children.
I am not raising children to be imitators of me, I am raising children who were knit together in my womb by the Heavenly Father, who created them with their own personalities, gifts and abilities.
If they are to imitate anybody completely, it should be the Lord Jesus. Our example is supposed to point them to Him.