Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Moment

A conversation between Emily and I on the way to school today:

Emily: "Mom, I want to be both when I grow up."
Me: "Both what, honey?  I don't understand."
Emily: "Both a mom and something else.  Like have a job."
Me: "That's great honey.  I think you should do that someday."
Emily: "Yup, I am going to be a mom and a ballerina.  I'm going to have lots of beautiful tutus and my kids will come and watch me dance every night."

And there it was, one of the moments that makes my heart burst with love for my oldest daughter.  Having kids is so hard.  Each day brings challenges and mistakes and exhaustion.  But everyday I get at least one moment like this one, and I don't know how or why, but it makes all the other moments worth it.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


This morning when Emily walked down the stairs after waking up in the morning, I was awestruck by how big my baby is getting.  This happens occasionally when I'm not expecting it. I'll glance over and suddenly be close to tears as I look at her, blown away by how beautiful she is, or by the sheer size of her.  The other day I was folding laundry, looking at her pants and wondering how they fit her legs.  They seemed impossibly long.  This girl and I, we've had our share of battles lately.  Perhaps a taste of what's to come as she gets older, I'm not sure.  She has a strong will, she pushes a lot, and I push back.  She tries my patience on a daily basis it seems, but sometimes when I look at her face, that all fades away.  She's simply perfection, my Emily.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Pursuit of Patience

I am not a patient person by nature.  I wish that I was, and I envy people whose patience is seemingly endless, but I'm not.  If you asked my family and close friends, I am sure they would agree.  But one of the lessons I've learned through parenting is that there are times you are forced to be patient.  If you don't, you end up losing your cool about a dozen times an hour because it has taken your child longer than necessary to get dressed, or you watch your child make yet another mess just as you finished cleaning up the last one.

Do things like this still bother me on occasion?  Sure, but I'm slowly learning to let go.  One of the reasons I know I need to grow in patience is because I can hear the tone in my voice when I speak out of frustration and impatience with my children.  It makes me cringe.  And what's worse is that sometimes, my frustration has nothing to do with the child I snap at.  For example,when Sophie is going through a particularly needy, clingy phase where even disengaging her to go to the bathroom by myself is an ordeal, I am much quicker to speak harshly with Emily when she accidentally spills her milk.  Is it fair?  No.  Is it human nature?  Maybe, but I so badly want to be better than that.

As often happens when I struggle with something in parenting, I find help and a little perspective by drawing a parallel from my faith.  When I examine my own life, how frequently and how badly I screw up on a daily basis, I am beyond thankful that I serve a patient God.  A God who is always waiting to welcome me with open arms despite my transgressions.  So my prayer is to slowly become more like my God, who "is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love" (Psalm 103:8).

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Spring Fever

(Before I begin this post, I offer my apologies for this neglected blog space.  I don't know how it started, but the posts weren't getting done, and then I wasn't sure what I wanted to blog about, and well, things snowballed.  I've decided to begin with a post of pictures, because that seems easy enough, and then go from there.)

This week is spring break for Emily and Sophie, as both preschool and MMO (which stands for Mother's Morning Out) are closed.  Not such a big deal, except that it means I am not working much this week, and instead of only lining up activities and adventures for two days, there are many more hours to fill.  So, spring "break" isn't very aptly named for this momma.  Blessedly, the weather has been pretty good, and we are spending a lot of hours outside swinging, sliding, and generally just enjoying the warm sunshine on our faces.

Sophie isn't intimidated by anything, and will go down the smallest slope to the tallest slide!

Emily occasionally practices her dunking, much to the delight of her father.

"Oh no, no one is open, now what do I do?"
Always the little fashionista, Emily swings in style.