Saturday, March 1, 2014

Out of the Mouth of Babes


Countless blogs including this one have often paused to admit one truth.

Parenting is difficult.

We don’t complain for kicks or to garner sympathy. We share our passion and pet peeves because we just didn't realize it would be like this, whatever our this is. We thought parenting would be more of abc and less of xyz. We thought our children would reveal one set of traits hidden within us and they instead unleashed a completely different set, one of which we are sometimes ashamed. Realizing other parents experience these dueling dualities makes us feel a little less loopy.

And a lot less alone.

Although I know my children know nothing of these musings, every now and then they say or do something that makes me feel as if I am not totally screwing this (and them) up.

Tonight Braylee did.

She burst into our bedroom crying, her adorable face reddened and streaked with genuine tears…not to be confused with the fake ones she conjures to elicit sympathy or obscure a recent transgression.

(I wouldn't have thought my little angel capable of such duplicity, but you’d be surprised.)

Oh, you couldn't resist either.
(Image Courtesy of foto76 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
As she hiccupped and sniffled through her answer to Horace’s inquiry, her tearful gaze locked with mine across the room. I turned away from the computer where I was redrafting my novel—yep, back in the saddle again—and held out my arms. She folded her trembling self within them, traumatized by her tumble from the sofa. She didn’t admit as much, but since we acquired the leather-covered couch, the children’s injuries have increased thirty-fold, so it was a pretty safe bet.


But right now, that wasn’t the point.

I cradled her in my lap, cooing and purring as her crying continued. She pointed at the blanket at the foot of my bed, and I wrapped us in it, whispering gentle assurances and a loving reminder of the folly of flopping all over the slippery sofa. I was sure the latter would go unheeded, but maternal duty has its requirements and I was no slacker.
We had been rocking and recovering for about ten minutes when she suddenly popped up with her face and eyes dry. Tossing off the blanket, she met my eyes and said, “Thanks so much, Mommy!” and proceeded to pop off my lap. She waved goodbye to Horace and me and returned to her world of play as if nothing had ever been amiss.

The impact of her simple, heartfelt gratitude, of her total satisfaction with my care, of her ability to express her thanks so clearly, a feat made doubly significant because Braylee often struggles to intelligibly share her feelings…

Wow.

As I sat basking in her appreciation, I felt an inkling of how God must feel when we allow Him to comfort us, when we pour out hearts to Him—even if we are to blame for our pain—and let Him restore and reenergize us without condemnation. I gained another level of understanding of just how much He loves and wants to take care of us. And I was humbled all over again.

Amazed, outdone, and humbled.

Mommy's little girl in earlier days.

So thank you, Braylee, for making Mommy’s night.

And thank you, Lord, for blessing me with Braylee and using her to remind me of your deep love for me. 

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