Monday, May 4, 2009

1st vs. 5th

I remember when Elliot was a newborn, and someone asked me..."What's the difference between your first and your fifth?" Without hesitation, I replied...."I think I treasure it more!" I used the term "it", because that seemed to encompass many things about motherhood....the things I've learned (big and little), learned to treasure and not take for granted! I learned to treasure those middle of the night feedings and the alone snuggle time I would have with my baby....knowing that it would only last a short time. I treasured swaddling her and carrying her everywhere we went!
I have learned to treasure every single detail of her appearance and try to memorize how her dimples looked and her curls bounced around and her little front teeth stick out just a little when she smiles, so that when she is grown....they will be etched in my mind!
I have learned to let her discover her independence and try things, that I didn't let my first born try, I've learned that she is growing and learning from these experiences...and so am I!

I have learned to treasure every little "baby" thing about her and not to rush her into growing up!!! Let her suck her thumb and carry her Pinky Pie. Let her ask me...."Hold You Mama, Hold You" when she is unsure or just tired! I've learned that I can't hold my 2 year old enough! I want to remember her hearty baby giggle and how she says...."Okay" when I ask her to do something! I want to remember how she always called the swing the WEE, because she would say "WEEEEE" everytime I pushed her. I want to always remember how she bounces to meet her daddy when he comes home each evening, and how she squeals with delight..."Daddy's Home! Daddy's Home!"
I have learned to treasure just watching her run, listening to her sing and watching her explore in the front yard. I have learned to treasure the times she wants to sit in my lap or hold my hand! I have learned to praise God more openly and to pay close attention to what He is telling me! I have learned that He is in every circumstance He is in control!

I have learned to really appreciate the skits and performances and plays my children orchestrate for my entertainment. I have learned to appreciate and treasure the little things in life....poems they have written, flowers they have picked, pictures they have drawn, watching them play together and help each other. I have learned to let them see me cry tears of joy just by being completely overwhelmed at the fact that I am their mother! I have learned to let them watch me cry tears of sadness when I have experienced heartbreak. I have learned to be really honest and accepting....of course I falter from this, and that's when I've learned to say "I was wrong!" and "I am sorry!"

I continue to treasure the miraculous miracle that is called LIFE!!! And I often find myself looking at them and being completely amazed that they ever fit in my belly!
I have learned that exhaustion and frustration is wholeheartedly outweighed by the delight and joy of being their mother. I have learned to be grateful, oh so grateful, for these children God has lent me. When I am irritated, I remember how precious these little ones are; and how He trusted He blessed me with them. I have learned to remain firm as a parent but to be more encouraging and loving as well. I have learned to pick my battles! I have learned that what I say to them is as important is how I treat them!! I have learned that they will know if I "practice what I preach".

I have learned to tell them to follow their dreams....and all things are possible through Christ!

I have learned to treasure their treasures....keep their hand picked flowers in a cup as our centerpice as long as possible! I have learned to say "Thank YOU" for their treasures!

I have learned that wishes are prayers, and I have learned to pray often by myself and with my children! Nothing is too small or too big for God!

I have learned to treasure each of my realize that they are all alike and all different. I have learned to treasure moments in their lives as they grow, and to look back on and talk about those past moments with them often...."Did you know when you were a baby, you use to laugh out loud when I brushed my teeth?" and so on!! I have learned to appreciate them each in different and the same ways! I have learned that just when I thought I couldn't love them more, I do! I have learned to treasure their daddy and our relationship!
When I was in music class with Elliot today, I was noticing a mommy and her little girl....who have been in class with us all year. I have never paid close attention to their relationship until today, because I was sort of forced to. Her little one was yelling at the other children and hitting a few of them which was hard not to notice. As her mother, ignored her behavior and other parents were becoming a little frustrated with her, I found myself thinking in a sort of "know it all way"....'Well, I would make my child apologize and take her out of the class'....which I probably would have....see I told you I falter; but then I found myself looking at her mother's face....I mean really looking at her face...and I realized that behind her mascara and lipstick, she is in the phase I was in with my first born (and probably my second and third born as well and occasionally my fourth and fifth born)....the "I don't know what to do with this child when she acts like this, and frankly I'm just plain exhausted from trying to figure it out" phase!
After I left the class, I kept thinking about that mother and her sweet little girl; and I decided that next week I am going to tell her....if the opportunity arises, and I kinda think it will....that I've been there and still visit there from time to time....and although it might be wearing her out right now, it will pass and before she knows it....her sweet little girl will be a teenager....of course that's not much comfort to some, since some teenagers yell and hit as well :) (that was a joke in case you were wondering). I am not a perfect mother, not even close, and believe me when I say that I have to ask for God's guidance and yes even His forgiveness every day when it comes to mothering and caring for my children. What I AM saying is that I've learned a lot from when I had my first to when I had my fifth.
I've learned not to sweat the small stuff....if they want to try the salsa, let them try it even if I think it might be too spicy! If they want to attempt to water color or fingerpaint....because they see their older siblings doing it, let them try it....even if I know they are going to make a huge mess. If they want to use a spoon instead of a fork to eat their spaghetti, let them try it. If they throw a fit and arch their back because they don't want to get in their carseat, let them throw it....and then tickle their tummy which definitely gives you the upper hand on that whole arching the back thing....they have a hard time arching their back when their tummy is being tickled, then buckle them up quickly while their fit turns into giggles. If they throw a fit in the store, because they don't get something you had already told them they wouldn't get; let them throw it....but don't give in. On the other side....if you need to treat them to a little bribe bag of popcorn at Target to help you get through your shopping trip, treat them....even if it does turn out to be their lunch. When they tell you they love you, tell them back....look them in the eye when you say it and follow it up with a hug and a kiss...even when they're 12...and tell them often even if they don't tell you first!
The main thing I've learned through mothering is to treasure them....each and every day....find something special about that day together! Try to love them as much as God does, and although we know that's not possible....imagine how much love that is....IMAGINE! Remember when they are doing something that is driving you bonkers or embarassing you to tears, one day they won't be doing it anymore; and then....dare I say.... you might miss it!


Following Him said...

She can't be three in September...seriously! Where does the time fly off to? Being able to read stories like this off the blogs allows some insight in what I will one day look at. Thanks for sharing :)

The Blankenship Family said...

Oh, Lorie - - - I LOVED this entry! You are so right. I feel like I've learned so much between having Ashley and having Ryan, but that I still have so much more to learn! Thank you for the poiniant and inspiring post! You are an amazing Mommy, and I'm so proud to call you my friend!

lb said...

needed that one today.....