It is sometimes overwhelming, the realization that these three little lives have been entrusted to my care. I want to do this parenting thing right. I won’t get another chance at it. And there are some things that I’m learning along the way that I want to make sure that I remember.
Children are not tiny adults and I should not expect them to act that way.
The bodies, minds and emotions of my precious little ones are growing and changing enormously each day. Although as adults we idealize childhood and it’s lack of pressure and responsibility, there is so much happening within our little ones. I must remember to extend grace, to help them navigate these uncharted waters. I must not have unreasonable expectations of how my children should act. I have to slow down, stoop down and see things through their eyes. I must have patience and empathy.
I try to remember what it felt like when I was a child and was so deeply involved in a book or activity that I could not bring myself away from it to get to the dinner table. When I see Genevieve turning the page in her book to continue reading when I’ve called her three times already it is easy to become impatient, to speak unkindly, to threaten or to punish. Instead, I have to remember, to stop being the mom for a moment and become the child who is simply enthralled in a story. I can call for once again, this time a little louder. Or I can go over to her, lovingly place my arm around her shoulders, look into her eyes and tell her I understand how hard it can be to pull ourselves away from a good book. I can tell her that I love her and that it would please me if she would obey even though it is difficult. I can hold her hand and help her to do the right thing.
But all this depends on whether I have learned what we try to teach our children. Do I understand that the world does not revolve around me or that there are things more important than the dinner I just prepared? Am I willing to put aside my agenda to extend love and grace to my child? Have I gotten the point that my children’s hearts are more important than the items on my to do list?
I’m still learning and I hope that day by day I get better. Because I love these children more than life and I want more than anything to treat them always like the treasures they are to me.