Blog Archives

The Greatest Teachers

Jessica, Allen, and AidenAllen, when he was three years old, told me one morning, “I love you.” Then he went on to say, “And I love Daddy and I love Aiden and I love Jessica…” He continued until he had named pretty much every person he knew or could remember at the time.

Children have so much love to share and give. It is contagious.

A few days later, he was giving a multitude of kisses and cuddles to my husband. Aiden, who was turning one that day, and was fully focused on his birthday gift, placed it down and crawled up to daddy and likewise started giving him “kisses.”

As adults, we tend to withhold love, forgiveness, and time, giving it to those who we feel deserve it. Or those who are in our “good books” at the time. Amazing how three-year-old’s (and one-year-old’s) naturally recognize the contagious and beautiful power of love. Perhaps that is one reason Jesus said we would do well to become like children—not only to enter the Kingdom one day, but to also enter a place of joy, peace, spontaneity and love in our everyday lives. Sometimes I feel my children are teaching me every bit as much as I am teaching them – probably a lot more.

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Time to be a Child?

child with bubblesI meant to continue posting here in mid-February, after a break of about a month at the start of the year. We’re now in sight of April. Not only is 2014 well underway, but it’s nearly a quarter over.

In the past few months I’ve had a number of ideas for short posts on parenting. Lots of stuff has been happening in my kids’ lives, and in mine. I even started writing a few times, but nothing felt right. I’m not exactly sure why. Maybe it’s seeing other mothers with elaborate websites, thousands of followers and hundreds of comments, their parenting mission seeming very clear and successful.

And I look at myself, trying to keep a basic grasp on being a mom in the midst of school, work, writing, and a myriad of random and sometimes very time-consuming (and mentally or emotionally exhausting) issues that arise on any given day.

The other day I was trying to work on an editing project and couldn’t focus because Aiden had gone up to about 75 decibels with his fire truck noises and Allen was describing to Jessica his idea for a new Tigger movie (and she was telling him exactly how it should really be done). I finally told them, “Guys, go play in the backyard so I can focus.” Of course as soon as they went out there, I wished I could join them. I turned back to my editing and still couldn’t focus because I felt guilty for having lost my patience with them.

It’s not their fault their room doubles as my “office.” I know more space would not necessarily be the answer. That’s the problem, I guess. I don’t really have all the answers. The answers on how to be an awesome parent. … Or I do know some answers but fail to implement them.

Maybe I am approaching it the wrong way, looking at things like the negative of a photo. Thinking I see a picture, but the colors are inverted so that light is dark. So dark. Maybe it is not that I should be trying so hard to be the mom sometimes, but to be more of a child.

We read a poem by Robert Frost in my English class today, about a man thinking of tree climbing (among other things). We talked about nostalgia and happy childhoods and looking back over these times with an element of longing and perhaps regret.

I am not a child anymore, but my kids are. And perhaps I should be that more too … by just being rather than trying so hard. By climbing a tree or playing shadow tag, blowing bubbles or sitting down on the floor and building a stack of colorful blocks right up to the sky. Maybe then I won’t have to worry about looking back with regret and longing, knowing I made the most of every moment.

All that to say, I’m going to try to begin posting in here again, if nothing else to keep some sort of track of my days as a mom of three young (and rather awesome) kids. I’ll try to post some things by other moms too, whose books I’ve read or am reading, and who capture the essence of motherhood so much better than I can.

If you’ve read any good books or seen a great quote on parenting, please share it in the comment section below. Or if you have any other thoughts you want to share on parenting, I’d love to hear from you.