Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Now that I actually have some time to write again the Blog's taking on a style rather like reading a book from the last page forward (or backward) as the case may be. But things are coming to my mind from the summer and now that time permits - they're spilling onto the screen.

A few months back the girls and I were on our way out for the morning. Off to LifeTime where I could get in a workout and a shower alone (listen for the hallelujah chorus). Emie had happily buckled herself into her seat and Ainsley was not so willing. She exclaimed that she wasn't going and she opted to put her whole body into the argument. I was frustrated, warm, and exhausted from what seemed like a fight at every turn to get the little love to do anything I had asked of her that day. The more she resisted, the more I dug in my heels until I used my arms as well to shove tuck the little lamb safely into her buckled perch. I pushed hard. She cried. I nearly did.

The conviction was immediate. I never want anything but love to come from my hands to my children. I understand that some people use their hands for discipline (which is also hopefully done in love) but this was not that. This was my frustration fanned out on her little torso and in an instant I knew I'd gone too far. I wanted to take it all back, to try again with more restraint and tenderness but there she sat, her face awash in tears. In her eyes was the look you don't ever want to see in your child: heartbreak. A surprise had come (and not the good kind) where she encountered the unexpected - an angry mother whose temper was lost. It was as if (all in an instant) she was piecing it all together for herself, puzzled to understand how a usually peaceful and loving person could lose it in an instant and disappear. In her trusted mother's place she found a forceful shove.

What she saw was me, a mere mortal, trying to gracefully clear the rising hurdles that the job of parenting the young places before you day after day. She saw me miss that hurdle and trip up a good bit. But what I want to make sure that she also saw (and continues to see) is the opportunity (the necessity) for God's unmatched grace. We need Him every hour. I want her to know that when I trip over my own feet, the laces, the stinkingly high hurdles, it's okay. It's okay because I know the One who can pick me up in one instant and set me back on my feet again. The One to re-tie my laces, tell me it's okay, and give me the chance to do better next time.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

So Fun to Be Writing Again...

Feeling fit here in the south. I'm no Gabby Douglas but I have survived my first summer as a Texas resident. In the spirit of the Summer Olympics I do feel that's got to be worth a little something. Maybe not silver or even bronze but that's okay - I was thinking a medal made of solid ice would be great. A big icy medal of bravery and honor for making it through the ridiculous heat without complaining at all too much. I know, I know that it's not really over yet. Summer starts here in about February and runs through early December as near as I can tell. But once it's Back to School season and people start pinning pumpkin pie spiced martini recipes on Pinterest - it's autumn everywhere in the free world as far as I'm concerned.

It is my favorite season - autumn, that is. Growing up in Illinois I've nothing but fond memories of the first days of sweatshirt weather and walks down the sidewalk purposely aiming for the noisy crunch of dried fallen leaves. When I lived in California (a long way from autumn) my mom would send me pictures of their tree-lined streets aglow in orange, red, and yellow. A little glimpse of home. It's been said that autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. Maybe that's why I like it so much. It looks like a new beginning when really it's an ending all along. Always was one for the silver lining any old way.

Back to school is a machine in our little world. The marketing for supplies and clothes seems to start earlier and earlier every year. Kind of like how Christmas decor now comes out right after Labor Day. The rush back to the big yellow school bus seems to be upon us somewhere around mid-June. But ready or not - it is indeed here "for real life" (as my Emie would say) and the little lamb is indeed back to school.

Emie embraced another change of schools with great anticipation and joy. She loved both of her other schools for different reasons and I was afraid she'd be missing either of them or comparing them all one with another. Comparison is the thief of joy after all and she seems to have learned this truth earlier than I did. For all of my angst about putting the little love through yet another change and wondering just how the school would be for her - it's been a lovely beginning all the way around.