It doesn't take long after having kids that you begin to realize how like you they really are.
Maybe for some that is a good thing.
I'll be honest, at my grandma's funeral many of my extended family had a chance to see the darling daughter of mine, some for the first time. After two years of hearing, "She looks JUST like her daddy," it was a blessed thing to hear, "She looks just like YOU did at her age." Because, sometimes, you want to be more than just her avenue into the world.
But that is neither here nor there.
As far as appearances go, I'm sure I'm more than a little bit biased, and I believe both of my children are gorgeous, but what parent doesn't?
The likeness that I'm talking of here is the other kind of likeness. Those little personality traits that you carry that make you up and characterize you, that your kids either pick up or inherit genetically. Don't ask me on the science behind it. All I know is I have two distinctly different children that somehow both tend to possess some of my most wretched qualities.
B. He's a worrier. That's all there is to it. This child will express concern if we take a road he's not familiar with from point a to our destination. He overthinks everything. He can't perform well in high pressure situations. Even if that is just a routine eye test at the doctors office. (Did I mention that I HATE having my eyes checked at the dmv? Blast! The pressure!)
Add into the mix that he's recently become very... I say it again... very effected by words, and that, my friends, is a recipe for me. And not the me that I want to pass on... the me I wish wouldn't have existed... especially as a child.
I want his heart to be light, his step to have pep, his world to seem easy right now. There's plenty of worries to come, plenty of stress to be had. But not now. I want him to simply be a little boy.
And A. It may be best to describe her going at an opposite angle. When I was pre - school age my mom quit working... completely because I could not handle daycare. I mean, I could not handle it. I cried day in and day out. Drop off was intense for everyone. I can remember the sickness I felt in my stomach. I can remember the despair and urgency I felt as she stepped through the door. Mom had it, I had it. She was done, and I never went back to daycare.
A needs me. As in, can't control her emotion, can't think logically, can't completely function, when she fears she's fittin' to be left. It's exhausting. It also used to be very frustrating. I'd become mad, like I didn't understand, and then one day it hit me like a ton of bricks. She is me. This was me. And I understood for the first time.
And that broke my heart. I'm going on 29 years old and can remember the fear I felt of being left. I handled the emotion better as an elementary schooler, but still worried that something would happen and I'd never see her again. Is this something my own daughter will carry with her? I've been banking on her not remembering this... but I do! To say that I hurt for her is an understatement, and I've found myself trying to be more understanding. More compassionate. More caring.
The worst thing my mom could have done at that moment in my life would have been to discipline me harshly. Even when it feels like a battle of wills, it was a feeling of abandonment and fear that I could not control. Reassurance and love covered a great deal of my heart at that time, and for a mother who was often honest, blunt, and to some degree strict, she knew the battle was not against my will, but my heart, and could not be won with harshness.
Add on top of A's separation that she is even more effected by words than her brother, and you have me in a little nutshell. Words pierce her deeply. Tone pierces her deeply. Physical rejection pierces her deeply. And I can totally relate.
And I just want to love them and I wish I could change them to be carefree and bubbly, to throw off from themselves the cares of the world.
And in some ways they do. A is the comic relief our family desperately needed. B the athlete and 'spunk', if you will. Spunk and sass... we have them both. I think they get both from their dad. The good traits.
And here I sit, 29, ok, almost. As if being utterly and ashamedly aware of your own junk isn't hard enough, seeing it characterized through your children is almost unbearable. You deal with it for you, and you hurt about it for them. And it makes it worse in your own life.
There's a healthy balance of being able to see the good and bad in ones self, and to be honest, I've never really seen that. It's true, if there's any good you see in me, it's Jesus, and if there's any bad, that's me. And from my perspective, I feel like people see a whole very lot of me and not any of Jesus. The enemy has a way of reinforcing this in area after area of my life, even when the 'good' become evident, they are usually product of the bad. (Even when I'm asked to say something good about myself, it comes out like, "I don't worry as much as I used to." This is how I'm used to being complimented.)
And I fear this for my kids. I fear that the enemy will feed these lies to them. They are easily consumed, easily believed, and very... very difficult to conquer.
My prayer is that I will be the one speaking truth in their lives, that God has made them uniquely, wonderfully, specially, and that I see Him in them. Not just when A doesn't cry when being dropped off, or when B chooses to trust rather than ask questions, but when there little smiles light up the day of their friends, or when they choose to share because they want to, or when they show loyalty and grace to others. May I always be their biggest cheerleaders, not so they don't see their sin. I'm sure I'll have to show them that a time or two as well. But God is the convictor, and the world will magnify their shortcomings. May I remind them of the Him that they possess.