A short and sweet account!
Today when my son asked me to go to his room to play with him and his “guys” I followed him in and sat down without much thought. Almost immediately I could feel the disarray of his room glaring at me from every corner. A random bunched up sock lay in the middle of the room, shoes piled up under the bed, toy buckets tipped over. My first instinct was to clean while I played. I’m pretty sure that’s what I usually end up doing when I “play” in my kids rooms. I end up cleaning. Today I just played. Buzz and Woody were superheros today, they had a mission to save Batman and Robin from Joker’s Lair. Today I really enjoyed the playful part of being a parent. I left the sock on the floor and the shoes under the bed for another day and I played.
I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness – it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude. Brene Brown
Sometimes I get sick of all the articles and posts from mothers (and fathers) reminding other mothers (and fathers) about how fast time goes with their little ones. About not forgetting to embrace as many moments as you can. I’m the culprit of some of these posts myself so my finger pointing is aimed right at the mirror. A couple weeks ago I saw another one and honestly I can’t remember where it was but I thought, Whelp here is another one to pull at my guilt strings and remind me of all the times I’ve failed. The question crossed my mind: Why must we be reminded all the time of how fast these precious moments drift away?
It wasn’t until I was rocking my almost 4 month old did the answer come. It struck me hard, I couldn’t remember singing him a lullaby. Yes, I’ve rocked him and cuddled him but since the day he was born I’m almost positive that he hadn’t yet heard a lullaby from his momma. My heart broke a little bit. How had I missed such a special and important part of having a newborn? My other two got lots of lullabies, my first born probably more than my second but it definitely wasn’t something either of them lacked as babies. Now my 3rd little one had none and I felt like a loser. I began to sing to him and then hum and then sing again and almost every night since I haven’t missed a beat. But it brought up the question again but this time with an answer. Why must we be reminded all the time of how fast these precious moments drift away? The answer was simple.
Because we forget.
Whether we forget because we get too busy with our day to day lives, with school and sports and work or on-the-go plans that just keeping piling up. These reasons make the special moments that could be had slip from our minds. We forget to cuddle or play or talk or sing a lullaby to our children. And hopefully by the time we remember it’s not too late. In my case I was too busy to remember. My other children would wake up or need something while rocking my littlest and the lullabies just slipped my mind. On the nights that my other two happened to not need me I can’t be exactly sure what filled my mind instead of singing my baby to sleep. Maybe worrying or planning for the next day or sadly catching up on a show that I had been neglecting. It’s the truth but not one I really want to admit to.
When all is said and done we are not perfect, we can’t be but we can learn from listening or reading about other parents’ experiences in the forgotten. Experiences that they feel led to share so that others will remember just how fast these times actually go and how blessed we truly are to have these little people in our lives. As I finish this I realize that this is one such story and that while you may be thinking: Oh jeez not another one, like I have said not so long ago, maybe it will tug on someone’s conscience and remind them to give another hug, read another book or sing another lullaby.
About two months into this new homeschooling adventure and I finally got a pretty reliable sign that both of my children are getting something out of it.
My 4 year old has been working through the book, Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons and we are about a third of the way through. Today we were finishing up an entirely different lesson about our left and right sides. He was looking at the work sheet and I could tell he was contemplating something. Before I could inquire he asks the following.
“Why in the word are g and h in the word right?” He pointed to the word “right” and those two silent letters inside that word.
I tried to explain that they were silent. We’ve only just touched on that in his reading lessons so to him seeing a gh in a word that does not sound like it has those letters in it was flabbergasting. I eventually googled his exact question. You can find the only answer I could find right here but to be honest I didn’t do a thorough search at all!
Anyways I am thrilled. I am thrilled that my son is recognizing letter sounds within words when we aren’t even doing a reading lesson. I’m thrilled that he’s interested enough to ask questions. My heart does a double pump when I think about it. One of the most beautiful things is to see my children learn something new, learn and be excited about it. It’s encouraging for someone who is planning on homeschooling full time.
I’ve seen improvement in my two year olds letter recognition as well. Before we started the school year she could only identify a couple of letters, 2 months in she already knows so many more and gets excited when she sees them. It really makes me so giddy! Giddy I tell you!
As for my Littlest, it wouldn’t be right if our 4 month old didn’t get a proud update from momma, he’s rolling over like crazy and grabbing stuff! I got a little emotional when this started happening, our last little one learning to roll. Oh my!
So homeschooling is actually coming together quite nicely. The kids are learning and my hair is still all intact. Intact hair makes for a good first couple months!:)
“I have been commissioned by God to be their mother. Being a parent may seem like a commonplace human relationship, but I will not be lulled into downplaying it as ordinary. My role as a mom is a deliberate strategy initiated by God to rear young boys into godly men. And I am resolved to fulfill this calling- to be for them what God needs me to be during this critical stage in their lives.” -Priscilla Shirer
This thing happens when you become a mother, this thing that no one can really prepare you for and it has nothing to do with how much love you have for your child or how little sleep you get when you have children, those things I actually had some idea about but of course not to the degree in which they would come. But this thing I’m talking about is this uncertainty and this mentality that begs to ask questions like “Do I really have a purpose?”, “Is there something more I could be doing to contribute to the world?”, “Am I supposed to be doing more for God?” These are the questions that I struggle with and I’m sure that I’m not the only one and I know that almost everyone comes across these questions or questions similar to these in their lives even if they aren’t mothers but for me they started more as a mother, maybe because I stay at home with my kids and some days I really do want to rip my hair out or let the toys and the crumbs pile up until someone rescues me from the mess that is never ending. This does not mean that I love my kids any less those days and it does not mean I’m less of a mother for it. (it did take me awhile to figure that last one out). These questions come most often when I’m listening to a sermon or in a bible study and the questions arise… Are we intentionally living for God? Are the things in our life pleasing to him? Are we doing what he is asking us to do in our life or ignoring it to fulfill our own plans? These questions stump me at times because I think well I should be volunteering or I should be spreading the word of Jesus proudly every single chance I get but as a stay at home mom those chances are very limited so I become stuck in this rut of questioning my choices and my purpose for living. I’ve been stuck in this rut the last few months and it’s totally my own doing because I haven’t been reading my bible as much as I should and I haven’t had the kind of relationship with God that I know that I can have with him and so doubt settles in. Self-deprecating doubt that tends to build up and kind of nestles it’s ugly little self into the pit of my heart or head or gut and it pops up now and then, reminding me that I’m not worth it. I can usually contain it for awhile- on those days that my children learn something new and I see the awe in their eyes as they look at me in excitement. When they tell me they love me and that they are happy I’m here. When the cuddling never seems to end, well those days are pretty dang good and I forget about that thing growing inside of me and then comes the mundane, the dishes, laundry, constant toy picking up and it rears it’s ugly little head and I start doubting myself not only as a mother but as a woman and a person and for some reason I can’t rid myself of it until I let God in.
Today I started the fall women’s bible study at my church and guess who popped into my heart and cleaned out all that doubt that I’ve been letting grow in there for the last several months…. Gideon! Well, God through Gideon through Priscilla Shirer who is the author of the book we are studying this season. So far it has been inspirational and I only just started it. It not only reminded me that I am part of a divine story of redemption just as much as anyone in the bible but also that… I will use her words here “I have been commissioned by God to be their mother. Being a parent may seem like a commonplace human relationship, but I will not be lulled into downplaying it as ordinary. My role as a mom is a deliberate strategy initiated by God to rear young boys into godly men. And I am resolved to fulfill this calling- to be for them what God needs me to be during this critical stage in their lives.” This is it, this completely wipes that doubt away and this makes doing dishes for the 3rd time in a day not seem so purposeless. I hope parents, yes you fathers too matter just as much, I hope that these words take away any doubt that you may have about yourself and your journey as a parent. We are made for wonderful things and right now it is paving a life of intentional living for our children. Intentional living for God and letting that shine through us to our little ones.