Thursday, January 21, 2010

Dream with me

My sweet daughter, loves to dream with me.  Sometiems she asks me what I want to dream about, and I make up some elaborate setting for our dreams to take place.  Other times, she knows exactly what she wants to dream about, and she tells me about the setting, or character I will play in these dreams.  Then she says, "See you in my dreams..." and we go to our beds. 

Now, of course I don't really get to choose my dreams-- and most often I don't even remember my dreams.  I wonder if she really dreams, what we've talked about, or if they are just settings and events she thinks about before drifting off to sleep.  Either way, it is a sweet way to part from one another.

Every once in awhile, we get caught up in our daily events, and we forget to talk about the dreams we will meet each other in.  It was after one of those evenings, that Alexis sat at the breakfast table, eager to tell me about her dream.

"Mom, do you want to hear about my dream?"
Without blinking, I sleepily answer, "sure."  I thought I would hear an elaborate story of princesses and castles, or of riding an elephant in a circus, or of being a Musketeer.  Instead, I heard something that shook me out of my sleepiness, faster than any cup of coffee.
"I found this wishing well, and I made a wish."
"Do you know what I wished for?"
Here it comes....With more excitement than any mother is ready for at 7:30am..."I wished for my boyfriend, and he appeared...and he had blonde hair and green eyes, and he was so handsome, that I almost kissed him before we got married...."

My eyes were wide open, questions and concerns replaced the fuzzy nothingness in my head, and my heart beat just a bit faster. I tried to stay calm, and not act like this dream came as a shock, as I looked at my 4 year old daughter.

"Wait, you wished for your boyfriend?"
"yeah, and he was so handsome, that I almost kissed him before we got married.?"
"So, did you kiss him before you got married...?"
"No, mom- I can't kiss him til I get married...."

I am sure I couldn't hide my sigh of relief.  Not, that we are a family that believes there should be no kissing before marriage, but we are a family that is postponing any dating for our children til they are at least over 4 :).  In all seriousness, Alexis will probably not be able to date until she is 16. 
We want our children to become who God intends them to become, before stifling their unique personalities or losing their deserved innocence,  by dating too soon.  I wouldn't say we are over-protective, but we also come from homes that encouraged allowing children to be just that....children.  There is no good reason, to rush them through this special and important time in their lives. 

I also understand, as I write these words that things may happen differently, that what I expect--and that life will do it's best at surprising me.  Parenting in general, has surprised me.  I had an ideal of what parenting was, and how I would parent--and the steps I would take in rearing and raising my children.  And, I am sure I am not the first to say, that after you actually become a parent-- any ideals you might have had, are completely BLOWN out of the water, leaving you with only a trace of what you expected. 

Then of course, when you think you have found your footing in parenting, then you have another child-- OR, your child gets older.  Parenting is an unending obstacle course, with new challenges at every age.  But, I honestly Thank God for these challenges, because it means I AM a parent, and love my kids enough to care about the challenges of parenting them.

Am I confident that I am making all the right decisions in parenting--nope, are any of us?
But, I am confident that no matter what they do, I will love my kids--and we will get through it. 

In the meantime, I will be proud that my daughter is saving her first kiss for her handsome, blonde hair, green eyed boyfriend for marriage.  And, without a doubt, I will keep any blonde hair, green-eyed boys far, far, far away from my daughter.  Just in case. ;)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Proud Momma

As a mother, there are those times that make you as proud as a peacock.  Some of those moments, are expected--and then there are those times that come out of the blue, and leave you speechless. Although, I
am proud of my kids when they show excellence in things--

I was proud of Jaxen when he learned how to get dressed himself, or Alexis when she learned how to read and write--but those, are all things that I expect to happen. However, it is not the same kind of pride I feel when I realize they are becoming the kind of person I want them and God wants them to become. These are the moments, that let you realize in a flash, that you are doing a great job raising a well-balanced, loving, smart, caring child.

Like today, as I sat next to my 2 yr. old son on the couch.  He had 2 little blankets, one on him and one next to him.  I left the one on him, and pulled the other one on top of me.  He looked at me, with love in his eyes, because he was happy I was sitting next to him.  And, then this conversation took place.

"That's for my sissy." (the blanket)
"oh. I'll give it back to her."
"No, I'll give her mine." -- what???!  I'll give her mine, a 2 year old giving up his blanket for his sister, so mommy can have one and sister can have one--and him left without.  I was shocked and so very proud.  To be fair, he is almost 3-- but, all the same, it was a genuine gesture that some adults would not make. 

Jaxen is becoming such a sweet, loving boy.  Sure, he still likes to play hard and get into everything-- but, at the end of the day what is important to me, is that he is growing into a man I can be proud of raising.  I am thankful for those moments, that take me by surprise and remind me that we, as parents are on the right track.  Because, I need encouragement, like every other parent out there.  I need to know I am doing a good job raising a son and a daughter.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Bye-bye Baby

 I know my 2 children will always be my babies, but when is someone's baby, no longer a baby?

My youngest, is just about to turn 3- and I have been thinking about this a lot lately.  I love so many things about his baby-self,  including his round little face, his hand dimples, and the sweet way he talks.  So, as these things start to disappear, I wonder if my baby is disappearing also. 

Sure I will be proud when he can say "yogurt," instead of "ogurt" but-- a part of my heart will also break.  His accomplishments, are steps to him becoming a, "big boy," and that is the scariest part for me.

When I look down at his hands, and there are knuckles where his hand dimples used to be, I think I might actually cry.  These are all small changes, that happen overtime-- but the end result is the bittersweet reality I am not ready to face.   Because, I can't bare the thought of him not wanting to "nuggle" me in the mornings or bare the thought of him not wanting my hugs and kisses. 

Don't get me wrong- I do not miss the sleepless nights, the teething, the baby food, the diapers, the spitup and so on, and so on....

I just wish I could freeze time- my daughter could stay 4 and my son could stay 2 til the end of time...okay, maybe that's not such a good idea.  But, I just want to reiterate how fast time truly does go when raising children.  Which is my favorite quote remains to be, " The days are long, but the years are short." 

It could only have been a parent that wrote that-- and probably a mother.  Any mother knows how very long days can be with a cranky toddler or a colicky baby.  The patience it takes to get through one single day, as the laundry and dishes pile up, and you can't even fit in a 5 minute shower.  A day can seem to last forever-- but, even so- at the end of that day, while you lay in bed in the silence you have been praying for all realize how quickly the years are going by with your baby.  You see the time in fast forward- and all you can do is long to hold and be with that child that drove you crazy all day long.

So, I do what any mother would do-- I deprive myself of a little more sleep- so I can go stare at my sleeping baby, while they are still a baby. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

WE will not be a Statistic

If 50% of marriages end in divorce-- it begs the question....why? Do they get married too young? Do people change? Do they make an unforgivable mistake?

The percentage is higher, the younger you get married-- I am in the 2nd tier of risk, since I was 24, had I waited one more year, our statistics would have been better.  What were we thinking?!

Here is another statistic:

50% of women cheat on their husbands at some point in their marriage and 60% of men cheat on their wives.   Which means....that someone is having an affair in 80% of all marriages!!! OMG- isn't that positively ridiculous to think about?!  Forgive the overuse of exclamation and question marks, but I am honestly shocked!

I knew the number had to be high, since it seems like every time you turn around you hear about the unthinkable.  But, 80% and yet, the divorce rate is only 50%.  (I am sure there is some crossover like both husband and wife cheating in one marriage) I don't know if we should be proud or ashamed that are divorce rate is less than our cheating rate?

All I do know, is that it makes me incredibly sad.  Sad, that we cannot be faithful to our spouses, sad that we have let our society become so full of adultery.  I am not lecturing, I am not preaching, I am just having trouble finding faith in marriage, in the vows all married people spoke before God, in people.   I have lost faith, I have lost trust in those around me.

I struggle with naivety.  I think the best of people, until I am proven wrong.  (When 2 people wander off together, I am not thinking about them doing anything wrong-- I am the one shocked when I find out that they did do something wrong. )  I am trying to be less naive, and trying to see the world for what it really is.  But, with this comes a loss of innocence, that I am not sure I am ready to give up at even (almost) 30 years old.  I want to see the good in people, I want to hope for the good in people, I want to trust, I want to have faith in promises made.  I want to believe in love, I want to believe in marriage.

As a couple, Kyle and I know more married people that have been divorced than not-- and we are not that old yet.  We are not even in our 30's yet.  Those of you are in your 30's or almost-- and not married yet, consider yourselves lucky-- your chances of getting divorced are much lower than mine.

So, as I sit here and think about the looming doom of divorce rates-- I glance toward my husband, and I know- that I trust him, I love him, I have faith in us.  We are not a number on a page, we are not a percentage point.  We are Sarah and Kyle, husband and wife, mother and father of 2 beautiful children-- that's it.   If the whole world crumbles around us, (which apparently 50-60% of the world is)  our family will keep our eyes up, our hope alive with our hands held.  It's him and I, against the world of statistics.  With God, we will prevail.

For those of you who have been divorced, or are going through a divorce- my heart goes out to you.  I know there is pain and hurt that I could not even fathom.  I am sure it is one of the hardest things you have done.  I pray for you, and your ex-spouse and any children that may be involved.  I pray that you find peace and joy in 2010 and that love surrounds you and your family.