Sunday, December 27, 2009

Mothering a Child

I was thinking today about how many opinions I had about mothering before I was those opinions got much more laid back after one child, and how few opinions I have about it now!

My mother always has told me that my sister and I were opposites even in the womb. C was still and quiet, and I was a ball of kicks and turns...and we are still that way...C is shy, serious and reserved, and only those who truly get to know her have the opportunity to find out how funny she is. I have never met a stranger and wear my heart on my sleeve for all to love and anyone to break.

My children are also very different. Boy was and is such a ornery and strong willed child. He was a colicky baby and has always been so intense and smart. Of course, we think he hung the moon and no one had better tell us "he should be sleeping through the night" and "let him cry it out"...We just did what felt right and let him take his time. He is a Mama's boy. He wants Mama in the room with him all the time. He likes to be right up next to me and says "Maaamaaa", in the sweetest most loving way. He usually follows directions but rarely when first instructed. His tantrums are awful...the kind where the kid is loud and kicks and screams and throws himself on the floor. He sleeps hard and is always up at the crack of the dawn and is ready to play play play. He is a full energy, bumped,bruised, boy's boy. He loves trucks and cowboys and dogs.

Bluebird is such a tender girl. She says very few words (even at 15 months) but she makes the sweetest sounds. When her feelings are hurt or she gets told no, she never screams or throws things...she very gently lays on the floor and puts her forehead on the ground and does the sweetest little sob (the kind where the air gets caught in her throat)...She is a quiet and happy child. So content just to sit by your side and sing. She loves to clap her hands and say "lalalala". She is actually more of a ball player than her brother, and she likes to raise her hands and say "goal" and then laugh so hard she topples over. She is more like Mama, and likes to sleep in and take morning naps.

Bluebird gets to learn from watching Boy...she watches closely as we scold him. She will put her head down and stand clear, peeking up through her lashes until all is peaceful again. Today, I actually had to "count her" and she had to "take 5"...Boy looked on with his mouth agape...he is so used to be the one getting the scoldings.
As different as they are, they love each other so much. He kisses her and they are just old enough to really start playing. He says "come on Bluebird". He likes to chase her and she loves being chased. She laughs and he laughs and the house is full of joy.
What must a first child go through...certainly being able to sense their parents insecurities...Bluebird has never had us overly obsess about her in the way we have done with Boy.
If Bluebird had been born first, I am sure I would wonder why Boy was allowed to scream through the grocery store (and would have certainly thought I was a better parent than his must be)...

He has been our first everything. The first time we felt the way your heart grows the first time you hear your child cry, the first sleepless night, the first foods, the first fall, the first tantrum, the first the first the first...we only let him wear cloth diapers and he nursed until he was two years old.
Bluebird, well, she gets to start with experienced parents who don't sweat the small stuff. The ones who pause after a fall to see if she remains calm before we rush to her in a state of panic. She wears target brand diapers and her baby book lays on the kitchen table in hopes of trying to recall which tooth was first and what her first solid food was.

I try really hard to do everything in moderation, but it isn't always easy. Sometimes I feel like screaming...sometimes I think I have it under control, other times I just hand over my cell phone and let her do with it what she wants...

The truth is...parenting is hard and all kids are different and require different things..and you just gotta roll with the punches. The most troubling part of it all is that somehow in the end, when they tell their story, the parent will either be their reason for success, or their reason for failure, and by is too late to change things. Too involved or not involved enough. Pushed them too much, or didn't push them enough. Worked too much, or didn't work at all. Fed them too much or too little, or not organic enough or too much candy or too little candy. Tried too hard to be their friend, or wasn't a friend at all.

I have learned as I watch the many mothers in my life, friends and family alike, that there is no "right way" to parent...we are all so different. Disney world every weekend, or no Disney at all...vegetarian or hotdogs and Happy Meals...the one thing they all have in common is that they love their children with all of their hearts even in the midst of the child's most miserable tantrum. I try to take bits and pieces from each of those wonderful mothers, and create a mothering style that suits our family best.

I have certainly become much more forgiving. If I see a screaming child and horrified parent, I smile (and am just grateful that it isn't one of mine)...I try not to give her a look of disdain or an opinion on how she should handle it...

The best you can do is love them...with all of your being, and make sure that they know it every day. Hopefully, the rest will fall into place....right?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

ellipsis. . .

... I tend to use the ellipsis WAY TOO MUCH.
I recognize this. I also know that I do not always use it correctly, but it always FEELS right.
so. . .

Monday, December 21, 2009

Here goes nothing....

Soooooooo...this is my first post....I have had this site created for some time, but just haven't felt inspired. However, I LOVE reading Christie and Melissa's posts (which I will try to find a way to link this to in a bit)...and I felt that perhaps I should go ahead and start.

Where to even start???

I guess I should follow Dr. Cotton's advice...and just write what comes to here goes. Boy and Bluebird are asleep, Daddy is painting, and the house is quiet, except for Noah snoring at my feet and what might be the sound of my phone buzzing in the kitchen. It feels nice. I sometimes miss the days when I had my own quiet place to myself...with incense burning (which is not allowed in the home of an asthmatic)...when I got up at 7am just because I wanted to, not because I had to...when I could write whatever I was feeling, without feeling guilty....because I love my life, I love my children, and I wouldn't change a thing... But I do feel that a part of me has been missing...I suppose my lack of time and energy over the past few years has let a side of me (the write in my "locked diary" side) go neglected. The side that wrote out her feelings and thoughts and dreams...and somehow writing it out kept things in check. I was given a journal before I left FL....and all that is written in it is the inscription from Melissa and Missy, reminding me not to lose myself. However, I suppose I have lost a part of myself...(which is probably why I am way too high strung these days), maybe this blog will be the outlet I need. Never can tell. However, this is already much less interesting that C's blog which is full of color, pictures, sometimes music, and some inspiring tale that brings me to tears or laughter (yes, really, its a MUST read)...

So, should I talk about myself? I assume anyone taking the time to read this knows the basics anyway, right? Name: Lisa, married, two children, two dogs, and a cat. OK, now I am boring myself....

I can type about my day.... (
My day was pretty good, actually. As I type that sentence, I wonder how far I have come that I can tell a woman her cancer has recurred and still say I had "a good day". My job is hard. I love it, but it is a very hard and sad job at times. Telling the lady she had recurring cancer was not what brought me to tears, but listening as her sister told me that she lost both of her daughters and her husband. She said "you just have to trust the Lord and take the bad with the good".

Long pause. . .

I don't know what to say from here, really. I know she is right. I think about the two miscarriages I have had recently...two pregnancies, although brief, still small miracles. I think about how those small miracles make me almost desperate to have another life growing inside of me. Desperate to have that wonderful feeling back. The feeling of waiting for the next great thing. Another wrinkled little bow legged thing in my arms, to nurse and nurture until his/her legs are plump and then to have yet another dimpled bottom giggling in our home.
I know that I have two beautiful children, and I have been blessed over and beyond. But I still grieve the loss of our June baby, and then the loss of our August baby. A friend told me that there were just two more little souls waiting for me in heaven. I know this was meant to comfort, but it makes me sad, to think there are unborn babies waiting for me. It is easier for me to see them as cells, not completely developed, that just didn't "take"...

so there comes the great divide between science and divine...

I can't answer the question of whether or not my two lost pregnancies actually had a soul yet, and I am not about to attempt to. But I can say that when I saw the word "pregnant" on that little stick, a miracle happened. Daddy and I felt our hearts grow a little more, to make room for our next child. Whether he/she comes in 9 months or 3 years, there is a space waiting for them.

So, I guess you just keep going, step by step, one day at a time....just trust the Lord and take the bad with the good.

And my day WAS pretty good. Despite the sickness and fear that my patients face daily, they are so generous and thoughtful and they love to make us fat during the holidays. I had my first Homemade marshmallow!!! and my second and my third and so on...absolutely delicious. I then filled a cup with half coffee/cocoa and half marshmallow...and the marshmallows melted into a sticky creamy goodness that reminded me that sometimes, it really is the little things that make the difference.