As a follow up to Tuesday's post, I don't suppose life is ever quite as you imagine it will be.
Sometimes it's horribly different.
Sometimes a wonderful surprise.
But it's impossible to anticipate what it will really be like. Even tomorrow! Things often completely change without our permission. Think "surprise" ACL surgery for Son (#3) 6 weeks ago. Ugh.
Before the Coach and I had a family of our own, I think we exuded confidence. We "knew" a lot of information about parenting. Books, seminars, classes, and most of all? We had amazing parents in our own lives who we had learned from. And maybe our own share of pride. Yikes.
Turns out it was more complicated than it seemed. (Yes, you can laugh. I am!)
I remember when Son #1 was born. . . we walked in the door to our little house with him when he was a mere 4 hours old. All 5.5 pounds of him. Just the three of us. Sat down. Looked at each other. Then, "What in the WORLD do we do now?"
It was rough. The nursing, the recovery, the lack of sleep. I thought putting him on a schedule would be easy. Um. No. I thought (later on ), teaching him "no" and to fall asleep in his bed would be a cinch. Not so much.
I was grateful we'd done it, though, when we discovered we were expecting #2 when our little boy was 6 months old. Ha!
I can laugh about it, now, but it was hard. I wouldn't change it. But it wasn't easy.
And you know what? I wasn't that good at it, either. I had vicious and relentless nausea. I was exhausted (some things never change - ha!). I couldn't gain weight (what a joke!) and I did NOT glow. Unless "green" is glowing.
Turns out. . . becoming a mom does NOT make you instantly unselfish. Is spite of the cute little Pinterest graphics that declare that it does.
A selfish, spoiled, self-centered, girl who really likes clean and quiet and her own personal space will not instantly morph into a fabulous mother.
Well, at least I didn't.
I wouldn't change the process. I wouldn't pretend it's over. And I'm eversograteful to be a momma and have my troops to show me so much about myself that I wouldn't have known otherwise.
But I've honestly had SO much to learn.
And still do.
Of course the kids ARE the thing, here. It's our job to raise independent kids who can THINK (what an amazing concept - ha!) and make wise choices when they leave our nest.
But this doesn't happen by default. They don't learn by being left to themselves. They learn by being guided and taught and reminded, and allowed to fail. Ugh. Never mind that they are eight very different, very unique personalities. Some of which clash with my own personality in glaring and painful ways.
Somewhere in the teaching and training and correcting and disciplining and loving and returning again and again to how little we actually KNOW about this whole process. . . we've been changed WAY more than our kids.
The Coach and I are better parents then we were 18 years ago. In some ways. In others. . . we've relaxed a lot (I have been much more easy going with Little Man - for better AND worse). We laugh a LOT more. I hope that never changes.
And in the process, we love each other AND our troops in ways I never thought possible.
Maybe the key has been the realization that we aren't good at it at all. But that our Lord IS fully able to work in and through us and in the lives of our kiddos. In spite of us.
They don't really need sufficient parents, anyway. They need to know their sufficient GOD.