You're mean...(pause), Mom.
I have been pondering over what to write about these girls. I wanted to share their new pictures, but I figured I had to say at least something. And I've been thinking over what it means to have daughters, to be a daughter and finally to be a daughter of God. Thinking I could in some way end this post with some grand inspirational challenge to myself or to the world wide web.
Instead, Leila comes in my room and out of nowhere says "You're mean...(pause), Mom.
What on earth?
This happened right after Jada came in and asked me to tickle her edge of her thumb. She didn't so much ask as she just stuck it in front of my face, but I knew what she wanted. (She ripped her thumb nail and it hurts so she has been asking me to tickle it.)
So this is what being a mom is all about? Thumb tickling and being told your mean for no reason.
This past weekend a few friends and I were sitting at the park with my mom, feeding off her wisdom.
I love my mom. She is hilarious. And it's usually on accident. She was raised on an indian reservation and she talks very "up northy." She pronounces things funny sometimes, says things that come out wrong and sort of blunt, but it's hilarious and does things like wears two shoes from two separate pairs in public...in a shoe store... on accident.
Ok, that shoe thing happened before I was born, but it's a good example of the kind of things that make us kids laugh all the time. If I gave a recent example,I would probably be the 38 year daughter getting scolded.
I'm convinced parents never stop instructing and redirecting their kids no matter how old they are.
And it should be that way. To some degree. Because they are always making efforts to help them in every other area of life.
Anyways, so my friends, mom and I are at the park just talking and we are kind of in a circle around my mom and she is just simply being "Mom" and giving her input. She cuts to the chase when she is talking and out of her mouth comes a fountain of profound wisdom. I'm so glad I'm not even joking. My mom and I are different in the way we present our thoughts, I guess. But I value her advice and wisdom so much because I know it comes from a place of sound experience and intimate prayer and time spent with God.
And I know that I want my daughters (and sons) to think the same way of me. I'm not just the mean mom who is good for tickling thumbs, but I am the mother they can laugh with (and laugh at), learn from and lean on when they need me, no matter how old they are.
My sister was laughing so hard when she noticed how we were all sitting around her gleaning from her vast river of knowledge and insight. But it's so not taken for granted. I hope she knows that.
I'm watching Jada quickly approach her pre-teen years and it shows in her attitude (not to mention Wesley) and I listen to them and I remember myself at that age. I remember how sassy I was. How disrespectful I was. I was obedient, but had a sassy mouth. Standing on the outside, sitting on the inside I guess you could say. But when I hear my kids talk to me, it makes me nervous some days, because I think back to my relationship with my mom when I was a teenager and I think "Oh brother, they sound just like me..."
I never ever want to hear my kids tell me I'm a mean mom or they hate me.
It's not cute now...and it definitely won't be cute when they are teenagers.
Before I had kids, there was a big part of me that hesitated on even having them simply because I remembered how horrible I was and I see what my parents had to deal with as us kids were all going through our stages of life. It scared me. I didn't want my feelings hurt by my own children, nor did I want the responsibility of making sure they turned out happy and successful once they were grown.
Let's face it, that is a HUGE undertaking. One I am learning now.
And I hope I am doing it right.
What if I'm not?
I am here for my kids. My life is a service to my family. That is who God made me to be. But in return, for the most part, they are adoring me. And I treasure it. They want me, want to be with me, want to sit in my bed with me while I type, want to go to the store with me, want me to snuggle them, want me to lay with them until they fall asleep. They adore me. And I'm glad they do. Because I adore them.
As much as I love these girls adoring me now and hanging on my every word (even when I'm not talking to them)... my ultimate goal is for them to love and respect me enough to continue to listen to me and adore me when they are grown women. I want to be to them, who my mom is to me. So in turn, they look at my life and the example I set...and want to be that person in their own families.
Does that make sense?
Maybe we will go through some rough spots. Maybe they will sass me now or think they know it all when they are teenagers. But when they become young adult women (and young men) I want them to be able to come to me without being scared. I want them to know I pray for them. I want them to be able ask me things confident I have their best interest at heart. I want them to see me putting God first. I want to set the example of who they want to be like.
That is what I want for my daughters.
They sure are cute now. All my kids are.
And my sister can make them look like little rockstars. And I love it.
But I want them to be happy. Really happy. Temporary happy is fun. And it's fun to surprise my kids with things they want. But as all us grown ups know, what we value now is quite different than what we thought was important as kids.
Photos taken by Joanna Photography.