I could write an entire post on how I fell in love with a pair of bright red-orange overalls today. While Kade napped with Nana, I ventured to our local hand-me-down store and roamed the aisles for some new summer digs for my baby. Because he's such a petite little thing, it can be frustrating finding something that fits his length and width. He was blessed (and cursed) with his fathers long torso and short legs. Here I sat, on the floor of the Kid-to-Kid, defeated. But then; It was one of those moments when you come to the conclusion that an angel was watching out for you. The Osh Kosh Angel put them in my arms and from them, a chorus sang, take me home, love me, button me upon your baby. No, but seriously, I think bright red-orange overalls should be a staple in every childs wardrobe. Kade's personality seems to blossom in them. Maybe I'm partial to Osh Kosh, Because by gosh, I practically lived in them as a child as well.
Mothering is a crash course in self-discovery. You have to find new ways to be you. Moms, in their motherly instinct, are artists. Combining ideas and resources in personalized, creative ways. But we are also scientists, testing a hypothesis we think will work for us as mothers. We tweak it again and again until the creative and scientific processes merge into something that works for us and our kids- a way to other that is uniquely our own.
When God thought of Mother, he must have laughed satisfaction and framed it quickly- so rich, so deep, so divine, so full of soul, power, and beauty was the conception.
- Henry Ward Beecher
There are two things I've had to remind myself constantly as a mother. The first, that I am wonderfully made. When God knitted me together in my mother's womb, he knew that I would one day also be a mother. Yes, I would mother: at a particular time, in a particular situation, and, most importantly, with a particular child. When he promises that he will take care of everything I need, he isn't excluding what I need to mother my child well. God's generosity is endless; he's given me all I need to be a great mom to Kade. The second, simply, is that I was made specifically to match Kade's needs.
As a young mom, I can be conscientious about knowing and following the rules. Never drive with an infant in the front seat, never give in to tantrums, never let toddler sleep in parental bed, never allow children to watch cartoons.. The rules have ruled the way I mother. How well I follow them and how well Kade responds to me following them, leaves me trying to determine how successful I am as a mother. Don't get me wrong, rules are important. But there are two problems with this approach: 1, the list keeps growing and changing. One day I'm a good mom, the next I'm a bad mom. 2, Kade isn't always going to respond to the rules the way he's "supposed to." He's his own unique little soul, not a cookie cut out.
Ladies and gents, I have discovered a better approach. Instead of focusing on rules, I'm going to focus on the end result, a pretty picture of what I want Kade to be like when he turns into a big people. I want to influence his heart, soul, body, and mind. In my mind, I'm developing this big picture filled with the things I deem most important; things like faith, family, fun, respect, security, integrity, learning and independence. Back to moms being artists: I am a sketcher, a mother focused on filling that big picture with the intentional daily actions, activities, and attitudes that will result in a masterpiece.
And so, here we are. I'm frazzled and sore. But in the next room, my freshly bathed baby is snuggled with his lovey, fast asleep. I just threw those overalls in the wash because by george, I want him to wear them as much as he can, always on hand. Tomorrow, we'll wake up in the wee hours so I can go to work, a sad departure, but I'll be singing "see you soon, baby" the whole way to the sitter. And when I pick him up in the evening, I'll take him in my arms, spin around and giggle as he kisses my cheeks, My mama! We'll go on a walk before bed, because it's been a few days and we're both itching for the soothing movement of Mommy Baby walk time. The way I see it, each little moment is a pocketful of opportunity to teach him how to be a strong, loving person. I'm holding on to each moment for dear life.
As weekends go, this one was busy: filled with family, the perfecting of The Newspaper Hat, fat boy after fat boy and beautiful weather. Time for Kade, time for friends, time for relaxing and for working hard. As usual, it's all about balance, baby.
And now? Back to the real world: