To my babies --
I feel compelled to write you at this point. At this point, while you are sound asleep in your beds, favorite blankets and stuffed animals in tow, and while you think I hang the moon. A confession - I assure you, indeed, I did not. (Nor would I want that responsibility.)
Before I continue, allow me to first say that there's little on this Earth I wouldn't do for you. God has given you to me as a blessing and a responsibility that I do not take lightly, and I count it joy to have the honor to be your mother. Your smiles light up my day. You make me laugh - that good belly kind of laugh - and you make me worry - that make life worth livin' kind of worry. I cannot imagine my life without either one of you.
As you grow older I hope I do well in guiding you and teaching you about real friendship. I'm praying already for the best friends that will come into your life, that they'd pressure you and guide you to only things that are good and right and true. I pray that they'll call you out as needed, affirm you as needed, and offer encouragement. I pray now that God would already be giving them wisdom. And at this definition of 'friend' - I hope one day you will consider me one.
Because, know, kiddos, our relationship will not always be easy. There will be things I ask you to do that you will not want to. There will be things that you will ask to do and I will not let you. There will be times when I seem unfair, that I don't 'get it', where you won't understand the answer to 'why'.
And I hope that you know, that I and your father have taken none of this lightly. Even the smallest speckling of decision we have prayed over. Just this weekend I prayed for wisdom on whether to take you outside in the depth of allergy season. Believe it or not - I don't want you miserable. I hope that you trust us, as God holds us responsible, to seek Him first in guiding you.
So just a few things to get straight off the bat, for current and future situations:
- Bryton, I ask you to put away your clothes and pick up your sister's cheerios off of the floor not to be cruel. I ask you to do these things (as well as both of your chores in the future) so you can learn to care for yourself and to also to care for those who can't. I want you to know the satisfaction of succeeding at a job well done, of accomplishing a task, and ultimately, giving glory to the one who enabled you to do such things.
- Time out isn't intended to be an isolated punishment of not getting to play with your favorite things for a period of time. It's an opportunity to think on how things could have gone differently. It's giving you an opportunity to feel sorrow and choose to rectify the situation. It's the chance to calm down and sort through.
- We do forgiveness in this house. We ask for it. We grant it. That's why I've come to you (even at three) and requested your forgiveness from time to time. It's humbling, but necessary, and you will be expected to do the same, inside and outside of this family.
- The same reason that we tell you now not to touch the stove, sharp knives or run into the street is the same reason we'll tell you some day not to text while driving, drink before your of age, or have premarital sex. The stove, the knives and the street are not necessarily bad things, but with age and maturity we learn when and how to use them properly.
- Church is not, and will never be, a punishment. As a member of our household it is our joy to worship and obey the one who loves us and leads us, and out of grateful and thankful hearts we will worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. Our faith (as in, your father's and I), prayerfully, will be evident in our lives to the point that you'd want nothing more than to be part of it. He really is that phenomenal.
- Ansley - I pray there will never be conflict regarding what you wear, but alas, believe it or not I have been that age before. Your clothing will not be made a big deal of, but be aware, clothing bought with your father's wage (or mine.. or grandmas for that matter) will be approved by yours truly. Clothing bought by yourself with your own wage apart from your parent's will be monitored as you walk out the door. Spend wisely, darling. Those articles deemed 'no', do not get returned, the money does not go back in your pocket. Don't pass go. Don't collect money. ;) I do want you to be cute... and we'll make it happen, appropriately. (Mommas - and daddies for that matter- we are responsible if our daughters are not dressed modestly. They are in your care, be responsible for them. One day they'll thank you for this... trust me.)
- To you both - there will be no fit throwin' in athletics. I don't care if the ump is blind as a bat, if he calls a strike and it's over your head, he's the authority figure. (But swing at it next time ;)
- Whatever it is - it's what's for dinner. And trust me - I have learned your pallets, both of yours, and I will try to somewhat accomodate you both in our menu planning. That being said, there will be no complaining or fussing about dinner. It is dinner. You will eat it or you will go hungry.
- There will be times that you will ask if you can do this or that or go here or there and you may even pull the "but so and so's mom is letting him/her line." And child, I am responsible for you. See the note above. I do not want you miserable, but for each unique situation there will be a reason that we want to protect you, guard you or guide you... I pray that you'd trust us. It's because you're loved.
- There will also be times that we'll SUGGEST you stay out past curfew, eat ice cream for dinner, or go hang out with friends. Let this be a reminder that we are not killjoys out to make you miserable.
- And though there will be thousands of other issues arise that we will work through together - let my final note be this. This momma would go through hail and high water for you both. I'd take a bullet in a second. Step in front of a moving car. I'd even risk you calling me names or despising me for awhile, if it kept you safe. And the latter of those scenarios will be the most likely and the most painful. Throughout it all, know that because of Christ in me there is nothing you can do to take away this mother's love. Nothing to diminish it's value. When you need me, I'll be there for you... to talk, to weep, to advise, or just to listen.
I've become to great things because God has so called me and blessed me to them - a wife first, and a mother. And I consider it pure joy to be both.
For mother's day, 2012... you are my gift.