Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Gift of Growth

I learned to sew when I was 18.  My mom bought me a sewing machine for Christmas and I never looked back.  I think of some of my early projects and chuckle.  They were full of mistakes, but I was always so proud of them.  There was no way to learn and perfect my craft without mistakes.  I've been sewing now for 27 years and I can still learn and grow.  I still make mistakes.  No matter what it is we are learning, we will make mistakes.

So, why, when it comes to parenting, do we expect ourselves to be perfect from the start?  I suppose it's because our mistakes affect these little people that we love more than life itself.  But, I've been thinking about the gift we give our kids when we let them see our growth.  When we screw up, especially in our relationship with them, we can try to hide it or acknowledge the mistake and choose growth.  

As I've grown as a sewist, I've learned what works for me.  I've found the fabrics I love.  I know how to read a pattern.  I know when to ask for help.  I know the nuances of my sewing machine.  And still, there is so much more to learn!

It's similar to my parenting journey.  I've learned that there is no one parenting book that has all of the answers.  There is no one right way since we are all so individual.  God chose me to be my kids' mom.  When I mess up, acknowledge it and choose to grow, I think God smiles at me and says, "Good job!  You are showing them how to embrace growth!"  

It's time to let go of perfection, do the best we can and when we do mess up, be vulnerable with our kids and give them the gift of getting a close up view of how to do growth.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

I get to be their mom

It's Saturday morning and our oldest has just left for an early shift at his job at In N Out.  Our younger son is asleep, and will stay that way for a few more hours.  Our daughter is watching TV on her tablet in her room.

After a trip to the store this morning, I sat down for a second cup of coffee and an overwhelming sense of gratitude came over me.  I get to be their mom. And, Doug gets to be their dad.

As I write this, Jackson is 19.  Nathan is almost 18.  And, Gianna is 12.  They are at such a fun age.  I've felt this way at every age.  As they grow, more of who they are is revealed and Doug and I get to watch from the best seats in the house. It is fun to see see them be and embrace and walk out whom God created them to be.

On Thursday I got to watch Jackson trade Pokemon cards with a group of kids who seemed to be around 7 years old.  He may as well have been hanging out with a group of friends.  It was so easy for him to be kind to and even enjoy these younger people.  I got to see that and chuckle with him later about how cute they were.  I got to enjoy the moment again when I told Doug about it.

After spending weeks looking for just the right one, Gianna ordered a swimsuit online that arrived in the mail yesterday.  It fit!  She liked it! I got to celebrate with her.  Then, I got to celebrate with her and Doug when she showed it to her Dad when he got home from work.

Nathan has been trying to get his schedule at work adjusted so he isn't working so much.  This has involved him having some not so comfortable conversations with his boss.  At age 17, he has dealt with conflict with courage.  Doug and I get to be in awe of his maturity together.

These days, parenting feels easier.  It seems like the really hard work of parenting is more behind than ahead of us.  You always hear how quickly it goes by...the time that you get the best seats in the house.  It really does.  But, it is as it should be and I get to bask in the deep sense of gratitude that comes from getting to be their mom.  If I could give one piece of advice to moms who are early on in their journey of motherhood, it would be to not worry so much about your kids' accomplishments...what they do...and focus on your relationship with them and who they are.