Sunday, November 3, 2013

Oh, Parenting!! (Slow Down and Enjoy It!)

It amazes me how a child can both infuriate you and make you proud in almost the same moment. 

Paisley's independent, strong-willed, dramatic and somewhat OCD personality can make me feel like I'm going to snap some days. (And if I'm honest, I shouldn't be surprised at her personality...the apple hasn't fallen far from the tree). But in the same moment, when I take a deep breath and sit back and watch her, I'm overwhelmed with amazement and pride. I can't help but wonder what she will be when she grows up, how in the world the Lord plans to use all these gifts she already has. I think of what her future husband will be like (and pray for him like crazy)! I imagine the impact her life will have on others. She's absolutely a natural leader. She's smarter than I know what to do with sometimes. She's adventurous, fearless, determined. She can say the exact things that will push your buttons, but...she's honest. She's joyful, creative, kind, and compassionate. She doesn't believe in enemies. She delights in the little things. She's curious and remembers everything. She loves Jesus. She doesn't believe in the word "impossible."  She loves taking care of people.

Just tonight as we were eating dinner, she was driving us crazy... She was pretty much ignoring every request to sit in her seat the right way and just eat. She had a million questions and was near bouncing off the walls. We were tired, stressed - just wanting to relax for a minute. She put her foot up on the table and I almost snapped imagining the food and drink (and probably her) hitting the floor in the next few seconds. But then instead, I sat back and watched her for a second. She took a huge bite and, while chewing, spun around in her chair putting her feet over the back. She leaned her head back and giggled, looking up at the ceiling, then glancing over to see if I was watching. I just smiled. She turned back around in her chair, sticking her foot back on the table. This time she balanced her fork on her leg, then leaned forward to see of she could reach her cup and take a sip without knocking the fork down. She lit up when she did it. She stretched and sighed with satisfaction. This continued for a few minutes...creativity, "challenges", and pure delight. (And she ate her dinner.)

She's such an amazing little girl. She truly is well-behaved, though has her moments like any child. But it reminded me how easy it would be to miss out on her true personality and how easy it would be to try to mold her into the "model child" (not that I really believe in that - or even want it. How boring compared to this!). It's easy to want things to run smoothly as planned. It's natural to have expectations that a child obey rules, listen, etc...and I fully believe in raising a disciplined child. But sometimes, i think we need to slow down and just watch what they do with a little freedom. I think we could so easily miss out on the gift that is our unique children that we have the privilege of raising for something bigger than we know! I am so proud of her, so amazed by her, and can learn so much from her! Please friends...don't get caught up in the rush of life and miss finding out who your child REALLY is!!

Also, expect me to need reminders on this because watching Adelyn these days makes me realize I'm certainly in for a double dose of BIG personality! :)

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