Saturday, March 20, 2004
Early this afternoon as I was putting something away in the fridge, I noticed that Amanda hadn't had anything to drink yet today, and so I pointed this out to my husband. Les was puzzled as to how I could know this and called for Amanda who, in turn, confirmed that she had 'forgotten' to drink anything so far today...so we asked her to have something to drink. Afterward, Les looked at me and said, 'you're a good mom!' I think that both he and Amanda are often puzzled as to how I know things...sometimes I think Amanda might wish that I didn't know when she was holding something back...but somehow I do...and it doesn't seem to be much of a mystery to me. I don't think that knowing that my daughter needed to drink something today makes me a good mom, but none-the-less, I do desire to be one.
I had a much different role-model in my own mother. She was not a huggy-feel-y kind of a person (and who says a mom should be?!...but I am very much wired the huggy-feel-y way..) My mom was a strict woman who had worked very hard all of her life. Control was important to her and so was our obedience to that. When I think of my mom, two pieces of advice run through my head, perhaps because of the countless times she said them to me:
- "If life is so bad, go outside and dig a hole, jump in, and throw dirt over yourself!" AND
- "It's a poor BEEP (think donkey) who can't press his own pants."
As I've mentioned before, one thing I did learn from my mother was to always work hard.... Oh, but she has softened through the years. The same mom who told me as a little girl that "only babies needed hugs", and who often pushed my arms down when I went to hug her when I came home to visit, now anxiously waits for her hug at the end of our time together...and, I've even seen her offer hugs to others without prompting:) (God is good!)
What's even more miraculous to me though, is to see my mom with my daughter...to see how her eyes light up at what Amanda has to say (I remember being told that children were to be seen and not heard). And then there are the treats... As a child there were no chocolate bars or chips in our home, yet you would not believe the treats that Mom is always dropping off "for Amanda's lunch"... Also, almost everytime Mom sees Amanda, she has something for her...
This evening, we saw Mom after Church, and it was no exception....tonight she had a bag for Amanda...inside, were click-its and 4 Lizzie McGuire books (4!!) I'm touched by her generosity but also worry whether she can afford that. I sometimes wonder..."where was this woman when I was little?!" But I guess that's one of the privileges of being a grandparent...you can spoil a child as much as you want.....and it is precious to me that my mom (and dad and brother...the whole family...) would want to spoil my daughter:)
A while back, my dear friend and mom-coach, Arilee, shared an analogy with me that sums it up well . Grandparents shine God's love...or at least some people's vision of God's love...they are gentle older people who always smile at you and give you everything you want. But a parent's love is different...a parent's love is more like Jesus' love.. Jesus came to show us how to live, and that's what each of us as parents have been called to do with our children...and that means you can't always say yes and give them everything they want. As I look back over Jesus' time with the disciples, sometimes He taught them and sometimes He rebuked them, sometimes He went out with them and sometimes He sent them out on their own...
What a tall task it is to be a parent in light of Jesus' example... AND...what a privilege! :)