There was once a little baby girl.
She was born with a propensity for driving her mother crazy. Cooperating on any level - even as a baby - was not in her plans. A 5 minute scream-fest was a regular occurance at naptime, and if you interrupted that process, sleep would be exponentially slower. My dreams of her nursing were quickly extinguished when she figured out that she didn't have to work hard to eat - she could just have a bottle.
This little baby would look at her daddy and he would melt under those saucer-like sky blue eyes. She would smile and the world seemed to offer itself to her on a silver platter. Her grandma would just about jump through a fiery hoop to get her to laugh.
As this baby's mommy, I felt such disappointment. She didn't seem to need me. At all. My previous occupation of 2nd Grade Teacher began to glow rosy as all things do when you're looking back. It just didn't seem like my job as Mommy was necessary.
Then one day, after a particularly painful and exhausting morning, her wise daddy told me to go rest on the couch. He calmed the baby girl and then brought her to me. I almost refused, but he gently insisted and called it Friend Time. He told me there's no training to be done right now. All I need to do is love and snuggle her. That was the singularly most important moment of her baby-years.
That little baby girl is now my tall athletic can-run-as-fast-as-the-boys yet primp as she dresses in her princess gown for the ball. I've come to understand a whole lot in the 6 almost 7 years of having this Mommy job. We still have Friend Time, this little girl and me. She comes looking for me Saturday mornings while still in her jammies. I wait for her in bed knowing. I hear her quiet, "Mommy, can I snuggle with you?" and I smile. Remembering.
This little girl who is my chapter-book-reading-first-grader and like her mommy gets herself in trouble when she envelopes herself in a book is so much like me that it is hard to encourage her in the good things because the faults are all too visible to me.
I had spent so much time trying to exert my will over hers and train her that I felt disconnected from her when she showed none of the responses I was expecting. Instead of focusing on her quirky personality and loving her because of it (sometimes inspite of it), I was trying to change her.
I wish I could truthfully write that I've come to accept her for who she is and that I encourage her in every way while giving grace in her faults. I'm learning every day what it means to be her mommy and train her to love God above all else. I love that every day is a new day full of grace.