The big kids are at their previous school today, taking the Stanford Achievement Test. They had to bring two #2 pencils with them so they can fill in all those thousands of little circles on the answer sheet. Just like I did when I took these tests a hundred years ago.
It felt a little – I don’t know – nostalgic driving my kids to school and dropping them off (at 7:30 a.m.!? School starts at 7:45 now!). They had their backpacks and lunch boxes … “just like old times”. Not that I miss getting up that early to get my kids to school, although back in the day, the school day didn’t start until 8:15 a.m.!
This morning after the big kids were gone, MiMi and I crawled back into my bed. With her little feet poking me and her little fingers clutching my shirt while she napped a while longer, I just laid there and enjoyed the quiet moment. The big kids are 12 and 14 … and I’m sure by the time I blink a few more times, they will be 22 and 24 — and gone from our home, which is exactly what we want for them.
As I prayed over my kids in the quiet of the morning, feeling a 3 year old’s breath on my arm and hearing her sleeping sighs, I prayed God would make me worthy of being a mother. And then I rephrased my prayer and thanked God that I *WAS* worthy to be a mother. After all, He has entrusted me with these 3 lives for this period of time. I am a mother. I am worthy.
If you have read my blog for any period of time, you know how insecure I can be about many things – particularly parenthood. I don’t know if it is because of the infertility years when I wondered why God wasn’t allowing me to be a mom when I wanted to be one … or just my uptight, self-depreciating personality … but I have always struggled with this.
From the time they were born, I worried if I was doing ok by my children … first it was feeding them. Drew ended up on formula after a struggle to nurse him; Annie-Belle nursed for 6 months; and MiMi nursed happily for 17 months (her choice, not so much mine). In the end, I have noticed MiMi has been my healthiest child – however, Drew (the “formula baby”) was also very healthy … and Annie-Belle was actually the fussiest, spittiest, tummy-hurting-est of all. But now, they are all healthy, happy kids – and I did what was best for each at the time.
Then schooling .. at first, I swore NEVER to use any form of day care EVER – and then my husband deployed to Iraq for a year and left me with a 4 year old and a 2 year old to be a single parent to, 600 miles from any family who could help me. And yes, I signed them up for an hourly day care program that the military provided … and I used that service when I had an appointment, was cleaning the house, or just needed a sanity break! The day care fed my kids lunch and entertained them for a few hours about once or twice a week. And my kids LOVED going. I ate my adamant words against day care pretty quickly when the going got tough!
As they have grown, the issues have changed from entertainment choices to friends’ influences to activities to dress standards. Every parent has to form an opinion – and some are more adamant about those choices then others. Once upon a time, when our boys were about 3 and 4 years old, two of my friends and I swore our children would NEVER have a hand-held video game device that they’d play for hours on end like “some people’s children” … Well, ha – that lasted until our kids were in about 2nd grade, and my son was the first to get a hand-me-down Nintendo DS from his cousin. And while I’ve never allowed them to play “hours on end”, we do have various video game consoles now – most of which our kids have had a part in paying for.
The older I get and the more secure I become in my parenting, the more I am relaxing and relying on God to bless my parenting despite myself and my best intentions. I still want to inform myself with others’ ideas … and I love comments and advice from other moms about what works for them. My friends are great moms – and you know, I think that even though we’ve had such different ideas, standards, and personalities, we also have a lot in common – mostly that we want our children to become successful, godly, productive, happy, responsible people.
My blog is definitely not one of those where I spout my wisdom with much confidence. It is more of a place of contemplation, my quiet … a place where I sort through my thoughts and hope to come up with godly answers. It is a place where I share my insecurities (which seems odd when one thinks about how vast the internet is!). It is also – honestly – where I tell what my family is doing and share some of our ideas or recipes that we like – and hope that someone else will say “That’s great” or “Me too” or “I know what you mean”.
Today, as I let you in on a little bit of my brain and my heart, I just want to say THANK YOU for allowing me to invade just a little bit of your quiet each time you stop by my blog.