Some days I think – how little I knew about parenting before I became one, and how much less I know in my third year of it than I did in my first.
The first year is really bliss, ya know? There’s no back-talk, no deliberate disobedience, no running away when you want them somewhere, and they don’t weigh a million pounds when you need to haul them somewhere.
Granted, the first year the first time around doesn’t FEEL like bliss, and it’s so easy to say, “It’ll be so nice when she can______.” First time parents, DO NOT miss the ease of the stage you are in! (Refer to my last paragraph.)
I love my daughter. I really, really do. With all my heart. But she is in a stage of life where some days she makes it hard to like her, despite the incredible depth of my love. I am far from patient enough to parent this little girl. And yet, she is mine to parent. Mine and Cody’s. And he’s as much at a loss sometimes as I am. Hey, at least we’re lost together, right? I’m not crazy enough to miss the fact that I have a partner in this battle, and I have a HUGE respect, admiration, and prayer list for those single moms out there who have to deal with the “terrible twos” and “three-teen” years alone. I don’t know how you (and your child) live through each day.
So in all of this, you’re probably wondering at my title, and thinking, “ok, where’s the darn photo challenge leaf for today?” Well, here’s the truth. I sat down in the rocking chair to feed my sweet little cherub who is still (THANK GOD!) in his easy year, and I thought, “one more goal for the day unaccomplished. I guess I’m gonna mess up this photo challenge, too. Will I ever finish any task I start again?” And I raised my eyes to Heaven and prayed, “God, help.” I know this answer was a small one, but my eyes fell on this cloud, lovingly, carefully painted on the nursery ceiling by my dad back in February… And I saw it. It’s a leaf. It’s been there this whole time, just waiting for that moment when God knew I’d need a little cloud, shaped like a leaf, to encourage me that we’re not alone, and God didn’t make any mistakes in giving us these two amazingly wonderful children.
Because we are the parents He wants us to be. And we won’t have all the answers all the time, but when we turn our eyes toward Him, He’ll always have an answer.