It is beautiful, amazing and rewarding, but hard.
I am finding it true that childhood is hard enough the first time around. Going through it again, I've decided, is just as (of not more) painful. I'm not sure humility is something I grasped until deciding to raise little people of my own and my goodness is it hard.
It's one thing to know your own ugliness, and another to see that very same ugliness in your offspring. That ugly came from you. And that is, well, hard.
Occasionally, hearing my impatience, annoyance, and sharp tongue out of my littles, well... that's hard. If there is a lesson to be learned, I am learning it.
So there I was this evening. Balancing a baby on my hip, unable to even hear my own thoughts over a toddler and
And what else comes to mind but,
"Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit." John 15:2
I feel the pruning shears. And they're sharp.
(side note: "pruning shears"? Is that a thing? I always find difficulty in the bible's agricultural metaphors -- the outdoors/plants/nature are not my forte)
It's in these moments that the self doubt sets in
Who am I to be responsible for these four lives?
Why did I think I can handle this?
Who do I think I am? Superwoman? Maybe I am too young for this.
Where is that wisdom I thought I had? Have I learned nothing?
Am I failing this bad everyday?
How am I so judgmental of other parents? (this one is a whole 'nother can of worms on the topic of my imperfections...)
How much is therapy going to cost for FOUR? Can we borrow that from their college funds? Lord knows they are all going to need it after having me as their mother...
And what sucks the most? Pruning is never comfortable. It's necessary, but it's definitely not comfortable. And I will admit I spent a good chunk of time feeling sorry for myself and pouting because I had to tuck my tail between my legs and apologize for hurting feelings to the same girl I just demanded apologize to her sister. For the exact same offense. Why is it that it's hardest to forgive others for the things we most often do ourselves?
And again, I remember,
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast." Ephesians 2:8-9
So I will do what I preach to my children to do, and choose to accept and extend grace. I will extend grace to those imperfect, growing, little people. I will choose to accept the grace extended to me and take comfort in knowing that I am, once again, forgiven.
And I will live to see another day full of laughter, messy kitchens, non-stop noise, fires to be put out, and snuggles.
And I will share my own imperfections in hopes of encouraging some other imperfect parents before putting these beautiful children to bed.
And then, of course, I will drink a glass of wine.
Or a stiff margarita.