Monday, April 23, 2012

reserving judgement

Have you ever tried to do that? I don't know what it is about us as people that we are so quick to judge others and what they are doing (myself included)? I think we as people are especially hard on parents. I've done it. Seen that mom yelling nastily at her child in the grocery store and thinking to myself what the heck is wrong with her?! Or when I saw young parents with their 2 small children in Walmart at midnight? I couldn't help but think I didn't want to be there, I can't imagine that 3 year old did. Or that mom at the park who let her kid knock over mine 3 times and didn't notice because she was sitting on the bench on her phone? Hello lady- can you please pay attention?

And then, I became a parent. And at first, I think you judge even more harshly, because you've got this precious, perfect little bundle of a baby. The thing is though, that little bundle of baby isn't talking back, throwing a tantrum, hitting you, or ignoring your instructions.

I think that now more than ever I have started to really try to not judge other parents. Not that I think I was consciously doing it before, but now I'm consciously trying not to. Trying to think about all of the things that I go through on a daily basis with my kid (some awesome, some not) and how those can effect my behavior toward Everett. This quote has been swirling around in my head as a result.

The other reason I've started reserving judgement is because I want others to do the same for me. Case in point, Saturday it was Everett's bff's birthday party. I already knew things might not turn out well because 1) Aaron wasn't going to be there with me to tag team and 2) on the way there Everett kept crying calling it his party. Ridiculous. We got there and everything was fine, but as soon gifts started being opened my child started trying to open them and call them "his". He also threw a tantrum every time I wanted him to do something that he didn't want to --- like eat chicken nuggets or share a toy or just plain obey his mama. It was a nightmare. I felt awful and when I got in the car to leave, I started crying. I partly blame pregnancy hormones. But partly, I cried because parenting can be so humbling sometimes. Sometimes no matter how much you try to teach your kid to be kind and share and love other people, it doesn't always show. And sometimes, that comes out at the worst times, the most humiliating ones - like the grocery store or church or a birthday party.

And so I'm coming to realize that maybe that mom at the grocery store- maybe she was up all night with a sick kid, her husband is out of town on work, and her kid has ignored her requests to sit down in the cart the last 15 times she said it. I might (would) lose it too. And maybe those parents at Walmart in the middle of the night? Maybe that 30 minutes was the only time they got to spend as a family because they both work different shifts and don't always get to see each other. And just maybe that mom who wasn't paying attention at the park- maybe she was dealing with an emergency or a family crisis? I don't really know and I probably never will, but I do know that there have been days and times that I've needed others to not judge me.

So next time you see that parent with their kid and you wonder what the heck is wrong with them? Remember that they might just be fighting a hard battle. And even if they're not? We've all had bad days and aren't perfect.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

life's not fair

When I was a kid and my mom wouldn't let me do something, inevitably our conversation would end with me telling her "that's not fair" and her telling me that life's not fair. I've learned that lesson a million ways since then, but none harder than with the passing of my friend Sara's son last year.

It was a year ago today. A day that I don't think I'll ever get out of my mind. I remember the weather and the clothes I was wearing and the minute I got the phone call from Sara. I remember praying with her and Keith that day in the hospital asking just simply for God's faithfulness and the ability to believe in it. Since that day though, I have struggled with Luke's passing. It's not that God hasn't proven faithful, but just simply that it is hard and it doesn't seem fair.

I recently read a book called Kisses for Katie and in it she wrote something that really resonated with me, something that spoke to this unfairness of life:

And for a brief moment I wonder how God can be good when babies starve and people die cold and alone and children are ripped from their mothers. But only for a moment. Because then I look around and know that I am nothing without Him. That none of this, none of this life I have, would exist without Him. "Surely just as I have intended so it has happened and just as I have planned so it will stand," He says in Isaiah 14:24. My good God gives only good things; He planned this and He will use this. In Him, even sorrow is Joy. 

... When babies starve and people die cold and alone and children are ripped from their parents --- these are some of the injustices of a broken world. And I think of a Savior who spent His whole life doing nothing but good, saving and healing and feeding and helping even the most undeserving people, dying on a cross like a thief or a murderer. I think of a Father, a Father who desires good thing for his children even more than I desire good things for mine, a Father who could have stopped His Son's torture at any time but instead watched it happen. For me. For you. And I weep at the injustice of it. I think that while no part of me wants to be in this place of losing Jane, not at all, this is where I asked to be: closer and closer to His heart. He knows this pain. He knows what it is to lose a child to the injustice of a fallen world. And so while I still cry and beat my fists on the floor, I find comfort in that, and I ask to be closer still. 

A year later, there is no less grief or pain in this loss, but there is evidence of God's faithfulness in Luke's younger brother Ben. There is comfort in knowing that God understands and has felt their loss. There is hope in knowing that through all of this God will wipe away all of their tears and restore them to a life everlasting with Him and with their son.

Thank you Father for going before us in all things, even the unfair ones. Your faithfulness overwhelms.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

the first month of two

25 months or 2.1 years old and regardless, my baby is so not a baby anymore. Everett is growing and learning like a crazy man. Almost everyday he says something new or makes some kind of connection and Aaron and I look at each other in disbelief. How did he get so big? When did he learn that? This Sunday he is going to be in front of church for the Easter celebration. It should be hilariously adorable, but how is he already old enough to do that?! He talks in 2 and 3 word sentences and says things like "down me please daddy?" and "where ______ (insert daddy, grammy, mimi, pop-pop, sah, benna, ka, e-ka, etc) go?" The other day he said "mommy run me" it took me a little while to figure out that he wanted to downstairs and get on the treadmill. He also insisted on mama and the dogs each taking their turns too. One of the phrases he says the most is "okay Mommy? okay Daddy?" He asks us if we're okay, making sure that we're alright. He asks us if one of us trips or makes a weird noise or are just sitting beside him. It's so sweet to watch his concern for mama and daddy. Our little man seems not so little anymore.

playing at the children's museum

He's figuring other things out too. He can put his boots on by himself. He has peed "on the potty" 3 times.  He's realizing that his friends have mommys and daddys too. He started making connections like Nolnie (Nolan) is usually with Car Car and Gweg and Eme is with Katie and Lijah (Elijah) is with Calli. He likes helping me around the house and usually feeds the dogs their dinner. He's finally found another show that he's interested in other than Toy Story --- thank goodness for Lightening McQueen. He knows how to get his cup out of the refrigerator when he's thirsty. This is less cool when he decides he's hungry for say chocolate syrup or yogurt from a few shelves up. He's becoming more and more aware of smells. When we drive down route 10, he says "eww stinky cows" because one day they were spreading the fields with manure and I blamed it on the cows. haha.

Everett and his friend Elijah

Because of the nice weather we've had this month, we've been outside a lot. At first, it was just me wanting to take him out to enjoy the weather while we could. Now it's Everett. Every morning without fail he asks to go "ouside" before we even eat breakfast, even when it's freezing cold. I love it. I love that he wants to be outside exploring and playing, even if it's just on our back deck. He loves to blow bubbles, "ride" his bike, and dig in the dirt from my old potted plants. Every time we pass a playground he yells- play! haha He hasn't quite figured out why we can't stop and play at every park in Chester County.

loving the playground

professional bubble blower/eater

exploring our backyard

holding hands
I know they call them the terrible twos and we have some days, some moments where they are; however, at the same time, they are so fun. I could do without the random tantrums or crying fits, but it's a process. I've found that his tantrums are sometimes just because I'm not understanding what he's trying to tell me. We're works in progress, but this first month of two has been so good. I love every minute of being this little boys mom.