A few weeks until my wedding, you can guess I was a little distracted. I had invaded my sister’s home and I had been living with her and her precious girls for a few months already. I remember that time and I smile. Chubby cheeked five year old Conner and her one year old blanket carrying sister, Kate, had (and still do have) a deep part of my heart.
The girls were with me all the time. I was often told how beautiful and sweet my girls were and I just smiled. They were my girls.
I had also invaded my brother’s car. A hand me down little red Dodge, Neon. He was not quite old enough to drive and I had sold my car.
One sunny June day, sweet voiced Kate and I were traveling around town enjoying life. I turned up the radio and thought about how great it was to be me. We sang and giggled and continued our errands like the happy girls that we were.
Work at nursery (with my Kate by my side.) Check.
Pick up wedding shoes. Check.
Fill up car with gas. Check.
Run through carwash. In progress.
The radio still up and my happiness still overflowing, I was enjoying even the carwash.
“Ehh.” It was a sweet, polite, one year old, “I don’t think this is supposed to be happening.”
Attentive aunt turns around to see soap suds and water and car wash brushes swishing through my OPEN back windows!
I wish I had a video of me turned around in that little car trying to roll up those manual windows as fast as my arms would wind!
Have I told you I’m blonde?
“Those that can not do, teach.” That has been the cop out of my life. I have a degree in elementary education and teaching experience in a million different ways under my belt, but I have most been a teacher as a mom. Why, oh why, like the Apostle Paul, can I teach without doing it myself? I am the biggest of hypocrites! Here is a list of the things that I teach my young daughter that I have not yet learned myself:
1. Be YOURSELF! This is such an old, feel good saying but it is so true! I look at my daughter and she is so amazingly beautiful inside and out and she is trying to figure out who she is and she struggles with learning her own identity and I want so much for her to just be herself! She loves animals. She knows so much about them. There is not a single animal in this whole world that she does not find interesting, and yet, she has learned that some people find many of them gross. I have seen her pretend to be scared of a spider and I want to say to her, “BE YOURSELF!” but it is something that she has to learn. I can not learn this for her. But as I guide her in the journey of discovering herself, I see that just now, in my thirties I am learning who I am. Who am I? I am a child of God. This is the most important thing about me. I do not really care if that offends you because it is me and it is right. I am a writer. Oh, how I love to write. How many writings I tossed because I did not think they amounted to anything. I love coffee. Lots of it. Black. I love chocolate. Dark chocolate. 90% cocoa. Where have you been my whole life? I am a wife. I love my husband. So much. I do not deserve him. He is amazing. We are one. I am a mother. Thank God. I am a mother. It is a miracle. I am an introvert. This is ok. Sometimes, ok, a lot of times, I just want to be by myself.
2. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes. What matters is if you learn from it. My adorable little girl will trip in public and the first thing she does is look around to see who saw her. IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT ANYONE ELSE THINKS! I tell her this over and over. You will make mistakes. It is ok. It really is ok. Admit it. Say sorry, if needed. Then move on and forget it. Why can I not do this myself? Why do I dwell on it for so long? I wonder what people think about me all the time. Why can I not learn from it and move on?
3. Do NOT do something to make yourself happy. Do what is right and it will give you JOY. That is so much better! “Sweetie, pick a healthy snack.” “Let’s get some exercise.” “Introduce yourself.” “Say sorry.” Sometimes, oh so often, things are hard. Life can just be hard. But do not approach any situation to make yourself happy, approach the situation doing what is right.
4. Jesus has never failed me. The church has. Christians have. Family has. Security has. Money has. People have. But Jesus has never failed me. Ever.
5. A million billion other things. I am still learning every day. It is an incredible, immense blessing to be a mother. I am thankful for my daughter every single day. I always knew I would love her. I always knew I would take care of her. I never ever knew how much I would learn from her! Thank you Jesus!