Thursday, February 7, 2008

Joy in the midst

I'm afraid there are people in my life that think raising my daughter has been nothing but challenging for me; including my husband. I seem to complain a LOT. In fact, I called my friend the other day because I was at my wit's end and needed feedback from someone who has 3 girls, one of which is a few years older than mine. After laughing with (at?) me, she assured me that I'm normal. Truth be told, my daughter has brought me more joy than I could ever have imagined.

(Disclaimer: the next paragraph contains a LOT of generalizations… please bear with me!)

I taught elementary school for 11 years. Generally speaking over the years, the boys were easier to deal with than the girls. The boys were busy, active and in each others’ faces a lot. The girls were dramatic, emotional and full of attitude. The boys didn’t always listen, but it was usually because they literally didn’t hear me. The girls didn’t always listen, but it was usually because they thought their way was better than mine. When the boys fought each other, it was physical and over when the last punch was thrown. When the girls fought each other, it was psychological and went on and on and on and on...

As cliché as it sounds, the boys were boys. There is no cliché that fits my experience with the girls.

Until God blessed me with my girl. Now I can say: “it’s like looking into a mirror.” And that’s what intimidates me the most – how similar we are. Stubborn, strong-willed, passionate, stubborn, vocal, hot-tempered, stubborn, grumpy when tired, stubborn… And because we are so much alike, we tend to crash into each other. Often.

But I’ve noticed something in the last few days. When I’m able to control my anger, things go swimmingly well. But when I’m over-stressed or tired, it’s not pretty. The number of times I’ve found myself acting HER age over the last 5 years is amazing. Embarrassing really. If I could grow up, maybe she would, too.

My Madison Claire is incredibly creative, has a beautiful imagination and is the most loving, compassionate soul that I have known. She loves to be around people, loves meeting new people, is highly aware of others’ feelings and would do anything for her friends. She has the most pure understanding of God and His love, and she teaches me about that love every day.

Plus she’s brilliant.

I pray that from today forward I can focus on how blessed I am to not only know this little girl, but to be her Mom. I pray that I can love every bit of her every minute of every day. I pray that when she challenges me (because she will), that I can hold on to my immaturity and act like the adult. I pray, above all, that I can remember that God blessed me (and Tuck, of course) with this little girl to raise in His name, to love Him and to guide others to Him.

And now it looks like He’s doing it again… blessing us with another little girl. All along, we’ve been praying that God would bring whatever child He saw fit to complete our family. My girl is over the moon to have a baby sister, so there is no doubt He has answered our prayer.

How do I feel about another girl? Honestly, I’m thrilled. Tuck is, too; he’s a great “girl daddy” and so very patient with all the craziness. Will our next daughter be like Madison and me? Or will she be our opposite… bringing a whole different set of issues (as Addie pointed out – thank you very little)?

Either way, I say: bring it.

“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever. Amen.” Revelation 7:12


Addie said...

I loved this line: "The number of times I’ve found myself acting HER age over the last 5 years is amazing. Embarrassing really. If I could grow up, maybe she would, too."

Boy, ain't that the truth! (and I mean me, not you!!)

You are SO READY to be mommy to another girl! Yeah, there'll be days when your eyebrows twitch a little more and your voice goes up a couple extra octaves (and perhaps decibels). However, if it were easy, and non stressful then we wouldn't be called parents, we'd be called grandparents. (Which I hear is a really cool gig!) ;-)

Michele said...

Oh goody - you posted an update:) You know you can't just go off and post about "a baby due in march" and leave us hanging without an update!! Inquiring (and caring) minds need more info :)

Sarah W. said...

Yeah!! I am so excited for you for your precious little girl....both the one you have and the one you are about to receive.
Two posts in a week. Things on "this boat" are looking good! I love reading your posts!!!

Marie said...

I think that the dramatist Nicole Johnson said it best when she said, "Instead of saying how much a baby would change my life, I truly wish somebody would have sat me down, looked me square in the eyest and said, you might not survive this!"

We all have days like that. I'm sure raising boys brings totally different joys and challenges but as the mommy of two girls, there are days that I act their age. There are days I want to throw myself on the floor and cry but the good news is that the laughter that generally follows that, makes it all better.

I am so excited about welcoming you into the two girl club! I can't wait to meet her and hold her and squeeze her and love her and kiss her and whisper to her and love her...and, and, and well you get the point!

Peace Out girlie!