*Partially written about a week ago* and published on our private blog. Leave an email if you want and invite. I thought I'd be good about maintaining two blogs but I am hoping to be better in the coming weeks.
Spring break has coming to a close and I really didn't want it to end. We have spent so much time together as a family of four and have stayed up way too late and woken up later than we ever have (especially for my early rising boys).
After a week of 9:00 or even 10:00 bed times the bambino was not about to go to sleep at 8:30 after we finished watching Frozen (projector style) as a family. After him crying, calling mom. going in there, singing songs, tickling his legs, taking all of his clothes off, (this boy has to sleep in just a diaper or he will wake up in the middle of night screaming OFFF NOW PLEASSEEE!!!!) he would still not go to bed.
This continued for over 2 hours.
Finally I went in committed to leaving only when he was actually asleep. So I picked up my almost 18 month old and looked into his eyes. I didn't look away, I smiled, and I sang to him. His eyes would become droopy, stay shut for as long as 10 seconds but then they would open and we'd repeat the process. This lasted for another 30 minutes. I'll give him credit for being a fighter but I couldn't get over how intently he looked at me.
He needed to know I was there, fully there, not distracted by D, technology, something to clean, a book, he needed me. I was humbled as I really thought about my role as a the primary caregiver for this boy. I provide his daily sustenance, I get up with him in the night, I understand his baby language, I know his cues for just about anything. And while the Mr. is obviously a big part of this picture as well I was reminded of just how incredible it is to be a parent and a mother.
I am the voice for my voiceless son.
I am not a confrontational person and the few times I do assert an opinion I back peddle but, signing up to be a parent means being the biggest advocate for my children because if not me, who?
Yes, I hope and pray friends, family members, leaders, teachers, and coaches see my boys the way I see them, I know that is also unrealistic. They will never know just how incredible they are because one, they don't care about them the same way I do. And two, it's me who literally brought them into this world and who has cuddled them when they are sick and been there for all the fun developmental milestones only a parent can appreciate. That is the way it is supposed to be.
It doesn't mean I am off the hook for helping them be the best they possibly can but I can't help but think about what these experiences are teaching me.
I have thought a lot about prayer recently and what it means for me to pray to God. I have been truly blessed with knowing God is always there for me. There is nothing more sure in my mind or heart and I am grateful for a religion that has helped me know my Heavenly Father so intimately.
Tonight with my little Bambino I feel like I got a tiny glimpse of what it must be like for God. There is so much heartache, pain, and sadness in the world, but at the same time there is so much goodness. I feel like I need my Father in Heaven during the good times as well as the hard times. During the good times I need to be reassured I am doing what is right, that I am doing everything in my power to have joy now. And during the hard times I need him just as much but as I thought about my experience with my little boy I thought about how grateful I am to know God never looks away.
I recently read the book Their Eyes Were Watching God and while I strongly recommend it a question we never really answered in book club has stuck with me about when, what, and why they were "watching God." We didn't really come up with a concrete answer and it has bothered me ever since.
The more I think about it the more I am grateful for the more reassuring statement I live by that God's eyes are always watching me.
He has given me commandments to obey that will keep me happy but those commandments will keep me generally speaking out of harms way. This doesn't mean I will be protected from everything in life he can't and wont control other peoples choices but he sure WANTS to protect me and help me find happiness more than anybody else. He is my biggest advocate, he is the perfect parent and while he can't be with me always he has given me a portion of his Spirit and a Savior to help me navigate this thing called life.
I am grateful he cared enough about me to send Jesus Christ into the world to die.
"For God so loved the world he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16
This month at church I have had the privilege to study and teach the youth (14-18 year olds) about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It was more than just what happened on the cross, it was more than just what happened in Gethsemane, or the tomb. And while I still feel like I have so much more to study and learn I do know that a sacrifice had to be made. We know sacrifices "of the first born" were performed starting with Adam all throughout the Old Testament and, it was done in similitude of the sacrifice Christ would perform so that no animal sacrifice would ever have to be made again.
His At-one-ment was an infinite and eternal sacrifice that satisfies all the God has required for us to get back to him again. I am so grateful and know that somehow it all works out. That my failings, sins, transgressions, etc... all can be forgiven. Though my sins be as scarlet they can be as white as snow (Isaiah 1:18).
Out of everything I have learned about being a parent I think it always come back to sacrifice. I sacrifice sleep. I sacrifice food. I sacrificed having more money. I sacrificed freedom to go and do whatever I want when I want. I have (made the very personal decision) to sacrificed a career. I have sacrificed my body.
I have learned to give of myself.
I have been stretched thin and pushed past limits I never imagined. And yet it is worth it. I have become a better person for it. I see the world in such different eyes.
I have started developing these attributes I have tried to work on my whole life but have truly taken root since becoming a parent. I have learned about gifts I never knew I had and have become painfully aware of my flaws. And it is for those flaws I pray and plead for help every day.
I called my sweet grandma tonight and I had such a great conversation. My dad is a convert to the mormon faith but I am so grateful for his mom who is one of the most Christian women I have ever met. During our conversation she made a comment about mothers knees always being callused and I couldn't agree more. I hope they will be there when I die. :) As I listened to my grandma update me on all of my extended family members I could just feel of her love for all of them and for me. She didn't make me feel guilty for not calling her more often. She was just grateful for the call and I felt loved. :) Now to make this more of a habit with all of our incredible family members on both sides. I am understanding more and more when they talk about the "old" being wise. The Mr. and I both have been so blessed to have so many love and care for us and I hope to continue that for my boys and the generations to follow.
I may not feel qualified as a parent 95% of the time but my boys need me, flaws and all. I am part of a bigger picture that is in my opinion the biggest miracle of them all. With the Easter season approaching take some time to watch the beautiful song written by my friends mother. Regardless if you have children, are married, have the best or worst family, it doesn't matter we all can and will be the miracle if we let Him in.
** I also want to show sensitivity to my friends and family members who can't or don't want children. It is such a personal decision and we all get to have different experiences that will help us learn and become better. For me it is through my children :) so that is what I was wanting to share.**