Tuesday, January 29, 2013

My Little Shadow...

close to mommy's heart
 From the time Lucy could move, she worked very hard to make her position as close to her mama as possible.  Even while in the womb, rather than move into the typical position to enter the world, she chose to keep her head as close to her mama's heart as possible.  My stubborn little girl didn't care that she was choosing a more difficult entrance into the world.  She was comfortable, she wasn't moving, and that was that. 
snuggling close to momma

After she was born, she continued her same determined attitude to stay close to me.  She did NOT like to be put down, and we spent many long nights and days rocking in the glider.  I would often even put her inside of a baby sling to keep her close to me while I attempted to get some housework done. 
my little mozart

As she grew more independent, she would crawl from room to room with me, helping me clean house, cook dinner, and practice the piano even.  I used to refer to her as my little shadow, because she always seemed to be right there next to me...and I LOVED it!  True, I was EXHAUSTED for the first 18 months of her life.  The child just did NOT sleep.  But I wouldn't trade a single one of those sleepless nights of cradling her in my arms and singing lullabies to her.  Those moments are precious, and I am thankful to have them tucked away in my heart, because now my 5 year old doesn't need her mommy to rock her to sleep anymore...although that doesn't mean she still doesn't like to keep her mama close by! 

drying her hair like Momma
Just today, as she was home sick from school with yet ANOTHER stomach bug (this makes number 4 since November, I believe) she was lying on the couch watching a show and said, "Momma, will you just sit and watch it with me?"  And when we all went down for a nap this afternoon, I woke up to find her in bed with me.  Then, at bedtime, she came up with what seemed liked a million and one excuses to crawl out of bed and ask me to come to her room. 

But then there's the "peter pan" side of my little shadow.  You know, the part where he loses it and he has to go in search of it.  While my little bugaboo loves to be close to her mama, she also has grown into her independence a lot more in the past few years.  Take this past Sunday for an example.  We get to the end of praise team rehearsal and I ask DH, "Um, where's Lucy?"  We quickly realized she had stealthily escaped the sanctuary and made her way to the upstairs children's wing to find her Sunday School class.  (Note that we had a little talk about not wandering off, even when you're familiar with a place!)  Or if you were to observe her Monday-Friday mornings, you would find a very confidant and independent little girl who does NOT want her momma to walk her into the school building.  (Although she always turns around and tells me she loves me or does one of our special hand signals.  Here's a recent video of me dropping her off.  I love our sweet inside family jokes:)  And while I'm sure that she will continue to grow even more independent as the years go on, I have a feeling she will always keep a little bit of her shadowy ways in tact, and I'm certainly a-okay with that;-)  But, just in case she doesn't, I pray I can treasure these moments now.  The moments of:

Momma, will you sit next to me?
Mommy, will you hold me?
Mom, can I help you make dinner?
Mommy, can I do those dishes with you?
Momma, will you read me a story?
Momma, will you cuddle next to me?
Mommy, can I come with you?

Those are the moments that make us say, "awww," and, "What a blessing to be a momma!!"  But what about those OTHER moments?  The ones where you've told your child NO for the 5th time and they STILL aren't listening...the ones where they deliberately disobey what you ask them to do...the ones where you feel like you're going to pull your hair out and wonder how you're going to fulfill this incredible role you've been given in life.  I don't know about you, but those aren't exactly the moments that give me that same warm and fuzzy Donna Reed feeling.  But on Sunday evening, I had one of those moments, and a very dear friend showed me how even those pull-out-your-hair moments can contain a little 50's sitcom magic to them...

Sundays are typically a hard day for our family.  They start early and usually end late and are VERY full in the middle.  I'm not complaining though-please don't take me the wrong way!  I'm just saying it's a full day, and full days can lead to grumpy kiddos.  Am I right?  At any rate, Sunday was one of "those" days for us.  Lucy was disobedient throughout the morning and squirmed her way through the worship service, refused to take a nap (I know you will argue with me that a 5 year old does not need a nap, but TRUST me that this one does!  Any child who sleeps as little as she does each evening most certainly needs a Sunday afternoon nap!) and then was operating at full wild-child force during children's choir.  I felt like I was getting on to her for the entire hour, and it wore me out!  Then, in the parking lot, she picked up some rocks (something I tell her not to do EVERY single week) and threw them at someone's car!  I was mortified!  So, we headed home and Lucy was sent to bed much earlier than usual...but it didn't happen that easily.  Tears flowed like a river between sobs of, "I don't wanna go to bed though..." as I attempted to put her PJs on, brush her teeth, pray with her, and tuck her in.  By the time she fell asleep, I literally felt like someone had physically beat me up.  I was exhausted and I felt defeated.  I had somehow failed as a mom the entire day it felt like.  And then a text message popped up on my phone:

"From one rock throwing Kid's mom to another: try not to fret too much over Lucy's choir behavior.  (Mind you, this is very easy for me to say since she isn't mine, but...) If you think about it, she was never truly BAD during choir.  Yes, she was up out of her seat dancing but that is enthusiasm that some kids will never exhibit.  And she wanted to share her choreography opinions but so do the big kids.  However, I figure what bothered you the most was that you had to tell her multiple times before she would mind.  But maybe, (in some tiny way) it could be taken as a compliment.  She sees her wonderful mama directing and wants to be just like you...no matter the price...even if it takes a "beating."  The girl has spunk!"

Her words went straight to my heart...I was so hurt that my daughter wasn't obeying me that I didn't realize she was actually paying me the highest compliment--she was trying to be like me, even though she knew that would mean getting in trouble for it.  In that moment, I was reminded of holding her close to my heart, carrying her in the sling, and watching her crawl after me from room to room.  My little shadow was just trying to follow in her mama's footsteps...and I responded in a way that was anything but flattered.  I found myself going into her room and holding her hand and kissing her forehead and whispering to my little sleeping beauty, "I'm so sorry for responding to you in an ugly way today.  Thank you for wanting to be like me...I pray I can act in such a way that brings God glory so you will learn how to act that way, too."  I realized that if this precious little girl wants to grow up to be just like her mommy, am I representing the kind of mommy that I want her to emulate?  Not when I speak harshly or out of anger or when I yell and get frustrated.  Yes, I am going to teach my daughter to be obedient and to respect her Mommy and Daddy, but there are two ways of going about that, just like she has two ways of choosing how to act.  If my daughter wants to be just like me, then I want to be just like Jesus, because more than anything, that's what I want for my children.  What a privilege to be chosen to be Lucy's mama, and what a challenge to lead my little shadow...

1 comment:

  1. You, dear PB, are a great writer ... just like, your Mama! I wonder if you were once a shadow, too! Love you all!