For a three year old, my small little child can communicate her thoughts so intricately. It's a blessing and it can also be exhausting.
She asks a million questions every single day. There are times when I have to politely ask, "Honey, I know you love talking and asking questions, but can mommy have a little break for a while?" If you think I'm horrible for saying that, try answering little tag-a-long's questions 24/7 and you will probably find yourself saying the same thing ;)
In the car she looks out the window with her furrowed brow deep in thought. I know a question is coming soon when she gives "that look".
"Mom, is Tigger a Tiger?"
"Are you a husband or a wife?"
"Is my baby brother ready to come out yet?"
"Why can't we live in Baku anymore?"
"Do dogs have hair?"
"Can we go on a special date to a coffee shop today?"
"Why is that lady sad?"
Her favorite Bible story lately has been David and Goliath. So much so that she requested it at bedtime for months. Every. single. night. How could I refuse? If she loves a Bible story, I'm not going to tell her she can't read it. Lately she's developed quite a compassionate heart for Goliath. She always pouts her lip, furrows her brow, and in a soft voice says, "I want to go into this story, to this country, and help take that rock out of Goliath's head. I want to make him feel better."
Things like this make me have to think really hard. I'm not going to just give my kid typical answers to shoo away her questions. I really want to answer them, and answer them well. Often this means I have to be honest, but deliver the message in kid form.
She's getting to that age. You know. That age. When you can't say whatever you want in front of her anymore. She picks up on things. "What did you say about so-in-so? What happened?" She hears it. She understands. She cares too.
I've been trying for long time to take these opportunities to teach her about character. When these questions come up it's a ripe time for it. The other day she asked why I slowed down while driving. I explained that the rules were I had to drive slow on this particular street, or else a police man would get mad at me. She replied immediately, "Well go fast, because I don't see a police man!" I laughed. Really hard. Then I sighed and explained, "Honey, I have to do what's right even if the police man can't see us." I hope she gleaned something from this last minute character lesson.
She also sings along to the radio. We listen to K-Love in the car since I have literally no CD's after living overseas. She asks what certain words mean that are sung. She sings the songs long after we exit the car. She pretends she is "Scott and Kelly" from the K-Love show. As the saying goes, "Be careful little ears what you hear." It breaks my heart to think of the trash that some kids hear from adult music. Our little ones do not need to be exposed to it.
I've been reading Doctor Dobson's book Bringing Up Boys. Even if you don't have a son, I think it's an amazing book to read! It's great for teachers and youth leaders, or any kind of leader for that matter. Our role as parents is so incredibly insanely immensely important, and yet so many parents are suffering through their own selfishness and dysfunction that they can barely keep up with parenting. It saddens my heart. This is the next generation we are talking about.
The other day I was in the Wal-mart parking lot getting Sitora out of her carseat when I heard a commotion nearby. A woman and man were screaming obscenities at each other (horrible, awful things) while the lady was reaching in the backseat with a child. I could hear the child screaming as well, and my mother instinct kicked in like a wild bear. I walked right over to them with Sitora and waited until they noticed me. Startled and embarrassed, they listened while I explained I'd heard the screaming and wanted to know if everything was okay. The lady proceeded to show me a package of new earrings they'd just purchased and explained she was changing her daughter's earrings for the first time. They assured me that everything was okay. I was glad to see the child wasn't being abused (at least to my knowledge) and I hoped that by me walking over there gave those adults a kick in the pants. I wanted them to know that someone noticed what was going on. I was willing to call the cops if necessary.
It breaks my heart that parents today expose their children to such horrible things as this. Unfortunately I believe our generation has bought the lie that everything is "about us" and that we should "do what's right for ourselves" and that it will work out for the children. Nonsense. Children are the first ones to suffer from our selfishness and dysfunction.
I am not saying I am a perfect parent. Far from it. But I have made changes in my life to raise my daughter. My husband and I have experienced a deep deep growth in our relationship since becoming parents. We have to die to ourselves, die to our flesh and our selfishness. We have to forgive, love, and chose to love even when it hurts. We are better adults for it. We make sacrifices and choices based on what's best for our family. It's not easy. I will be the first to tell you it's not easy. Like I've stated many times before in past posts like this one here, I was never the first girl to say I would be a stay-at-home-mom. I never dreamed this would be my life.
But I wouldn't change it for the world.
My heart goes out to broken parents. I hope that in this next season of our lives we are able to touch this generation of hurting adults here in America.