Friday, September 7, 2012

little mirrors

Mirror /ˈmirər/  n.  - (2.)  Something that faithfully reflects or gives a true picture of something else.
A few weeks ago I began to see some things that needed "tweeking" (Tom Hanks, You've Got Mail, 1998).  Every time I use that word, I hear his voice in my head.   kinda fun, slightly cheesy.  Anyhow, this epiphany came as the girls were helping me unload the dishwasher.  They always do the silverware, dull edges of course.  Prissy handed Goose a spoon that had a few wet spots on it.  Goose immediately used her shirt to dry it before placing it in the drawer.  A shirt that had been playing in the mud just minutes before.  So, in order to earn my germ-patrol badge, I reprimanded her for doing such a thing by eloquently explaining how germs work, how unsanitary it is to use dirty cloths, the whole nine yards.  She obediently replied, "Yes Mommy".  Two minutes later, I pulled a glass from the top rack and did the SAME THING!!!!  Wow.  I looked down at my shirt, it was clean but that was not the point, and commenced an apology that I prayed Goose could understand and accept.  This may not seem huge to you, but for me it was almost my undoing.  Because here stood my five year old daughter, submitting to my correction of her small act of MIRRORING MOMMY, all the while never giving excuse for her action.  Simply obeying. That's right.  They learn most everything from us and there I stood wearing the "muddy shirt"!  No badge. 
I am thankful for that moment.  It is a stark reminder of my vulnerability when it comes to being a parent.  If I had not realized my actions and apologized to Goose, she may have interpreted the situation to mean that it is ok to say one thing and do another or that inconsistency is acceptable.  These are not character traits that I desire my daughters to reflect.   As my husband and I discussed this later that night, with tears in my eyes, I explained that I knew there had to be more. I was not living up to my potential as a 'stay-at-home' and I needed to focus on more than just duties and schedules.  I have always believed, if possible, you should do what you love.  And if it ever becomes a 'job', start re-evaluating life.  Well, this was that moment for me, again. I've had many.  We concluded that somehow I would start seeing each day as a gift, not a task; seeing my daughters as more than just 'charges of the keep' (in my worst British accent).  They are a direct reflection of what takes place within our home; of who I am.  Little Mirrors.
That evening has stayed with me for days. During this time, I received and began reading The Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson (Waterbrook Press, 2004).  Coincidence?  I think not.  

And I was right.  Immediately, as I read the introduction, I felt envious of the relationship described by the author with her daughter.  I wanted to look ahead 10 years and see a bond strong enough to withstand anything.  The precious gift of kindred souls.  Now let me stop here and make something very clear.  I am not referring to being 'friends' with your children. There is a fine line with what I am attempting to say.  So here it goes:  I do believe there is a difference between confiding, supportive parenting that creates a healthy balance of oneness as opposed to letting go of all sense of leading, training and discipline simply to be accepted by your offspring at any cost.  That said, hopefully well, I'll continue.  My heart yearned for something deeper.  And I knew it was time.  Time to start "tweeking". 
I dove into reading and absorbing every realization about myself and how I could make things better for my girls.  After surrendering and honestly coming to the Lord with, "Well, I'm back"... I've found balance.  It's only been a few days, just a week into homeschool and our new schedule, but I have learned to pull back the reins a bit, wake up early, start my day off slow, not rushed and focus on bettering my time with Goose and Prissy.  Enjoying them and allowing them to see a part of me they can laugh at as well!  And turns out, most all the chores are getting done, the closets stay organized (which if you know me, you know that is a must) and I'm actually finding time to workout!  Huh, who'd have thought.  BALANCE.  look it up.  try it.    it works.

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