Thursday, March 21, 2013

1 to 3

It's funny.  When Husband and I look back at parenting one little one verses three we giggle.   Man were we type A! (I should add a disclaimer here ... When Little One was born I was a full time grad student and Husband was a full time grad student AND had a full time job! Schedules = survival.) So to our families, thanks for cutting us a little slack for those few years.

Everything seemed like such a big deal.    The time poured into finding the perfect stroller or carseat because it makes SO much difference if the stroller reclines with a zipper verses a strap.   Do we get the orthodontist approved pacifiers?  Do we dare give our little one a nuk before 8 weeks old ... gasp!(we did ... and he survived:)  Our little one's entire success in life depended on those big decisions and their schedule ... or so it felt like.

Well, I wouldn't go so far as to say we are seasoned parents, after all, Little One is only 5, but we've learned a few things over the years.   We've changed somethings, we've relaxed, we've taken a deep breath, all while the crazy factor has increased exponentially.   Newborn bath time, that once sweet and peaceful time cooing over Little One, has now been reduced to a quick squirt of dish soap on the head, rinse, and dried with a paper towel (don't judge!) for Little Three.    Nuks that fall on the floor are no longer cleaned and given back to said little one ... they are just given back.   They are not always put together in cute nice clothes (although I like to make people think so).  You will probably find food stuck to their bottoms right after a meal because that is where they hide it.  The importance of the question 'so how long has the bottle been out?' is directly proportional to how long (and loudly) Little Three has been crying.  Things change; our priorities, our abilities, our desires.

Some where between three little ones, two masters degrees, four moves, and two job changes in the last five years we've found schedules aren't the end all, invaluable to the sanity of day to day life, yes, but not the end all ... in fact, sometimes the best memories have come when we ignore them.   When we put our kids to bed somewhere else so we could hang out with friends, skipped the afternoon nap, or went outside instead of going to bed in the summer.   Messes, mistakes, and chaos are going to be made.   But in the middle of all the poop, spit up, and dirt (and there is quite a lot of all those) ... the little ones are thriving.   Not because we had the latest and greatest car seat, stroller, or bottle, but because we've let go and let life happen to them.   Yes, sometimes they get sick, they don't always have the best, most efficient (insert baby thing/gear here), and yes, they have been disappointed ... but when we've chilled, so to speak, our little ones have thrived.   They have learned to adapt.  They have adjusted.   They have grown.  And perhaps, so have we ... although we are still pretty type A most of the time and I'm ok with that.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

To my little boys ...

I have not forgotten about you two.  It seems like forever ago when I got all nostalgic about raising a little girl, but trust me, you two little ones have never escaped my mind.  Perhaps it is because one of you is always within an arms reach of me, or earshot ... but I am more inclined to think it is because of the huge responsibility I feel, being your mom, to raise you and watch you grow into true men.  There are many ideas floating around of what a true man is, but many of them are wrong.  There are many ideas floating around of how a true man behaves, but many of those are also wrong.  There are many ideas floating around of how a true man speaks and carries himself, but again, so many of those are wrong.   Dear little boys, this is what a true man is ...

A true man lives up to his name:
who is like the LORD and he has heard; those are powerful, and have significant meanings, take time to grow into them and humbly live them out.

A true man is full of gentle strength:
he does not trample over people, but picks those up who have fallen
and bears their burdens with them.

A true man is a humble servant:
he does not seek praise for his work, but quietly goes about his life
honoring God by doing the right thing in both public and private. He is not too good for the most humbling tasks: laundry, dishes, and diaper changes.

A true man sees a woman as a companion and treasure,
not a prize to be won, or trophy to be demeaningly displayed
amongst other men.   A woman is not yours, she is God's; but she is yours to empower, encourage, and to love.

A true man does not stay silent.
When injustice is happening, get up and fight for the those less fortunate. 
Be passionate about justice, seek after it with your whole heart.

A true man recognizes true beauty,
and knows it does not come in a certain number or color. 
Yes, beauty is very much seen in the physical, but a true man
recognizes that true spiritual beauty will far outlast any trend, style or perfect body type.

A true man brings wholeness to the people around him.
He does not start conflict, or hurt others with his words.  

My dear little boys, grow up and be true men, who's strength and dignity come from something greater than yourself.  And because I want your wives to like me some day ... don't forget to put the bathroom seat down, to empty your pockets before you put things in the laundry, and learn to cook ... every woman likes a man who can cook :)