Wednesday, July 16, 2014

the words of my heart and how my perfectionism keeps them in...

It's been a while since I have written.  Really it has.  A couple of years now, really, since I have sat down to capture more than just the monthly changes of Gracie or a few thoughts here and there.  And, I ask myself....."Why is that?"  Easily one could say, "Well, it's time, of course! You're a busy mother of four small children!" I tell myself that occasionally.

There is another reason though that haunts me.  I'm a perfectionist.  While it's wonderfully freeing to me to pour out my heart's thoughts in words, there's a part of me that can't let go of making sure I've captured every last one of the details. For whom?  I don't even know!  For me, perhaps?  In the future so that I don't forget a single moment or joy of life?

Say, for instance, Gracie's two year old blog.  I just posted that last week, eight months past her birthday - well headed towards age three. At the time I didn't post it, I was needing to find the "perfect picture" of Grace, oh, and add a few more details I didn't want to forget.  So, here it is July, and I forced myself to post without those bits of perfection.  I believe I still need to post Caleb's five year old blog.  Can't remember if I did that one, but I hesitated for the same reasons. He'll be nine in the fall.

My obsession in those things, however, lead to me not blogging about anything......missing scores of details and memories I would have liked to have jotted down for future smiles, well, because I hadn't finished what I was working on.  And do I need them all?  No!  But a few funny stories now and then would be nice. Or even just an ability to speak my heart, captured for future reflections, or for the generation ahead as they work through similar struggles in the future.  Words of wisdom for the way.  A light ahead, perhaps?

Now, truly.  Must I capture all of the details of life? All of the memories? The precious moments? What if I don't ever capture how Gracie says "nah-er one" for "another one" (phew - captured that one!)?  What of the stages of  my three other precious children that I missed while focusing on capturing a month by month picture of the first two years for Gracie, so that I could always remember what the first two years of having a precious little one were like? Am I focusing on the wrong thing? What is it about me that can't live and enjoy the moments as they come, then let go and move on to live and enjoy the next?

There's a balance that's to be had in this whole experience called life. My first year of homeschooling taught me much about that.  A story for another day.  However, I was really forced to look at myself, my faults, and my internal motivations.  It made me ask the question: "Why do I ask what I do of myself and others? Is what I'm asking of them (or myself) really important or even necessary? MUST a child, for instance, finish all 26 letter projects from Kindergarten just to have them for the year end notebook? Even if he already knows them?  What goal does that meet other than perpetuating perfectionism.  I'm certainly a proponent of doing your best and finishing what you started, but sometimes, we cut our losses and move on. Not EVERY hill is worth dying upon, or even fighting for.

I'm still learning. I have a long ways to go.  I am encouraged, however, that I do see a light - even if it's a ways in the distance.

I am reminded:  "The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Little Time Lapses

Three days ago, Gracie became extremely articulate. Don't get the idea that she hasn't been verbose.
She has been. Since birth.

However, if I've noticed anything over the course of my parenting toddlers, it's that new developments often happen quite minute they don't do something - the next minute they do, with gusto.

So, I picked Gracie up, and with great expression and many words, she told me all about her troubles.  I stood there, holding her, and thinking...."It just happened again. Before my very eyes. Wow."

Later that day, and increasingly again, I heard her again and again explaining herself to people. Childhood is simply amazing.  I'm so blessed to be a mom.

Gracie: 2 years and change.....Exuberance defined...

Sweet Gracie.  You are nearly 2 months past your 2nd birthday.  And, wow - have you changed!!! Since your second birthday, your words have been tumbling forth at an ever increasing rate. Now you are forming complete thoughts, pretending, engaging, and.....of course, not to be missed my many a 2 year old, throwing tantrums as a point of holding firm on your position. And hold firm you do!

You are exuberance defined. You bubble. You giggle. You belly laugh. You dimple. You smile.  You rage (but not mostly). You entertain. You cuddle.  You love. You create.

You are everything we could have hoped for, and more than we ever dreamed for our 4th and final child.  You bring us all together in peals of laughter...much to your delight.

And, did I mention how  you are?  Oh, yes.  You are quite busy. For all of the things you are, there are equally as many as you do......

 - Coloring on yourself (and objects such as your clothing, furniture, walls, and floors....frequently
 - Playing in the toilet
 - Carrying the dog dish FULL of water....and spilling it
 - Opening the refrigerator and helping yourself to anything messy....
 - Eating sugar by the handful, straight from the container
 - Eating whole packs of gum (by spitting each piece out after a couple of chews)
 - Carrying tangerines to the garbage, one by one, and tossing them in
 - Eating chap stick
 - Swallowing pennies
 - Wearing Mama's makeup
 - Pushing around carts full of dollies
 - Playing in your kitchen and bringing me things to "eat" and "drink"

And all of the words
 - Going potty "Bee Guhl" (Big Girl), and telling Mama to "Sit down!" as I wait for you. (And this sometimes is a fruitful exercise, and sometimes it is simply to angle for a piece of chocolate (your reward), I'm sure....
 - Scawy Monstoh coming!!!
 - Oh! [insert any word]??? (This is the cutest thing ever! Every word is preceded by an "Oh!" when you are repeating something back to us.
 - Sometimes you just confirm something to yourself in a very resolute voice. "Oh! Papa coming?" "Yes, Gracie - Papa is coming home soon."  "Oh. Papa coming home soon." 
 - "No! Me do it!" (This is very popular at present. :-)
 - Couds (clouds)
 - Singing, singing, singing.....especially Jesus Loves Me...