Thursday, January 15, 2015

lessons i've learned from my kids #1

Around the time Emma was born, we gave Addie a doll. She hadn't taken much interest in them before, but with a new baby around the house, a doll seemed more fun. By 21 months old (Emma was 3 months at this point), Addie really loved to take care of her baby doll. Which she called "baby." Or sometimes "Emma." Now, it's just "baby."

She drags her around by the arm. Sometimes she holds her tightly, sways, and says in her "singing" voice Gee-gis (Jesus), mimicking how I sing "Jesus loves me" to her before she goes to sleep. She likes to push her baby in Emma's swing, buckle her in Emma's carseat, wash her with pretend soap, feed her a pretend bottle, and push her around in the stroller.

But, when she pushes baby in the swing, she'll push as fast and hard as high as it goes.
She'll buckle baby in the carseat upside down, straps twisted, and with only half the buckle closed.
Once in a while, as we're getting ready for bed, we'll let her put her baby to bed too. So, she'll pick up the baby, bring the baby to the baby's bed, and sing. "Gee-gis loves me i know know the Bible tells me sooo's" [she always makes 'so' plural] :) Rocking back and forth. Then, she'll say "night night baby" or "luh-you baby..."

and drop the baby on it's head, and walk away.

It's so hard not to laugh.
And yet she's trying.
She thinks she's doing what we do to take care of Emma.

It's easy to poke fun and see how she's missing the mark... I mean, her baby is naked all day, buckled upside down in the carseat, and then dropped on her head to go night night.

But, isn't this kind of how we parent too? We go to great effort to mimic how God, our heavenly father, loves and parents us. How to discipline and how to give grace. How to love unconditionally but not enable. How to train up a child. How to how to how to... And we work hard at this, hoping to produce Jesus-loving, world-changing little people. Yet, at the end of the day, we often miss the mark. And compared to our perfect heavenly Father, we proverbially (hopefully not literally), drop our kids on their heads and say "night night."

But there is grace.
and He has chosen you for your children. 
and so, with God's help, we love, and discipline, and train, and engage, and teach...
and we try not to drop our kids on their heads.
and then we trust Him with the results.