Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I Think I am Part of the "Club"

I was at a birthday party with Little Man for one of his little friends from preschool.  The other moms were all there because you can’t just drop off 3 and 4 years olds and have a few hours to yourself like you can with an 8 or 11 year old!  As I was driving there, I was secretly hoping I could just drop Little Man off (he was with his preschool teacher after all – it was her daughter’s birthday) and head to TJ Maxx for some retail therapy, but no such luck!  Anyway, as we were sitting around chatting in between juice box spills, one mom asked me “don’t you have an older daughter?”  When I said I have an 11 year old daughter and another daughter who is almost 8, several of the moms, not just the one that had asked, said “oh” and “wow.”  I even heard an audible in take of breath from several of them.

Thinking back as a mom of just a toddler and maybe a newborn, when I saw those moms that had older kids, they seemed like members of another “club” that I could not belong to.  I only knew about the cost per diaper, feeding schedules and when my child hit the milestones versus the “What to Expect” books.  They knew something I did not.  They had the wisdom of years of parenting that you do not know when your kids are young.  I think the oldest child any of the moms at the party had was 4 years old. 

I guess in other people’s view, I am part of the “club” of older-wiser parents… or maybe they are shocked by the age span of my kids… or maybe I am just old and they can’t fathom how someone my age can parent a preschooler all the way up to an almost middle school-er?  LOL.  Whatever it is, I definitely felt the eyes of the others moms.  I have always been the older parent in my circle of friends.  I was one of the oldest moms when Soccer Girls was in preschool.  I am the oldest in my Girls Night Out group of friends.  It makes sense, Chief and I did not get together until I was 28 years old; I was 32 when I had Soccer Girl.  Heck a girl I went to high school with has a 22 year old son!  So, I did get started late in comparison to many.  But wait, I do not have teenagers yet so I can't be that wise.  But I guess in the party setting this weekend, I was the wise old parent, at least from their perspectives.    

I do not feel like the wise parent, per say.  I feel a different type of parenting wisdom, one I could not imagine as a newer mom.  It is wisdom from worry that we only have 7 more years with Soccer Girl at home.  S-E-V-E-N.  A lot of my friend’s kids are all under the age of about 7!  It is a wisdom that comes from the discussions with our tween girl, who is wise beyond her years, which stop us in our tracks at times.  It is wisdom from trying to help Lizard find her own way as she navigates behind her older sister who seems to have it all and her cute little brother. And it is wisdom from trying to help Little Man learn the basics of life and how to channel his energy in a positive way.

Those are all very different types of mothering; very different types of worry and very different types of mental exhaustion.  And they are all going on at the same time.  Maybe that is what people see.  I still have a foot in the little kid world but with a foot planted firmly in the older kid world.  Whatever it is, I think I am part of the “club” and I am honored to be here.  Even if I am only really a junior member! 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Little Man'isms

I have to write these down so I do not forget…

Little Man said today when he sneezed, "Bless myself."

Then when he was putting on his clothes to go jump on the trampoline he asked me, "Do I look not naked?"

And my crazy Little Man ate a dill pickle covered in lemon juice and ranch dressing.  Yuck.  He informed us when we were all grossed out that "it is not good to all of you, but it is good to me."

Love that guy!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

God Told Me to Do It

So the other night, I look into the family room and Soccer Girl has a garbage can and it trimming the hair on all of their Barbie Dolls. I am watching this wondering why the heck she is doing this and envisioning all the hair on my carpet.  So I ask my oldest, “Soccer Girl, why are you cutting all the Barbie’s hair?” “God told me to do it,” she replied with a sly grin.

Now, my oldest was being funny.  But the irony of that response was not lost on me. I had just returned from our church’s women’s weekend retreat only a few hours before. The theme of the weekend was Be Still (Be still and know that I am God Psalm 46:10). The speaker, Pam Vrederbelt, spoke to us about how when we slow down and take the time to listen, God will speak to us.  She did not mean He would necessarily speak audibly.  He will speak in the thoughts that surface in our minds, the scriptures we read and the ideas that present themselves. She encouraged us to pay attention to that voice…that whisper. And the more we listen, the more we will hear.

I have talked about getting a two by four between the eyes before here and here.  Those moments were not lost on me. God was speaking to me and it was pretty clear. What I am not so good about is taking time routinely to stop and listen in my daily life. I am not so good about paying attention to the simple, little nudges I get. When you do not slow your mind down enough to even notice the nudge, it is very hard to determine where that nudge is coming from. Are those nudges from God? Or is it something some random person said… something I want… something I saw on TV… or an idea from a friend? The speaker talked about verifying those nudges and whispers against scripture, with friends who know God, etc.  Then when you have verified that the nudge is from God, take a leap of faith and act on it. God has something in store for you.

Soccer Girl had no idea what I had just heard and experienced over the previous three days. She did not know I have been thinking about listening to God. So while her response appeared tongue in cheek, maybe God planted some seed in her mind, some nudge. Maybe He did tell her cut their hair? Maybe He told her to joke with me to send me a nudge to listen and act of the nudges He gives me.