Last night I was tucking my kids in bed, and I laid with my 3-year-old for some time. I love listening to her articulate such mature thoughts in her little baby voice. She wanted me to tell her a story, but I detest storytelling so I offered to sing to her. Fortunately for me, she acquiesced. Her attention span, however, was short-lived for in the middle of Holy Holy Holy, she stopped me to inform me that she wants God to be in church.
I stopped singing and explained that he IS in church, but we can’t seem him. I reminded her of the catechism question that she has learned that says that we cannot see God but he can always see us. Then she responded that she wanted him to be there in her room with us.
I assured her that he was, and I reminded her of the catechism question that says that God is everywhere. (How much do I love the catechism for teaching simple biblical truths?!)
But still, she wanted to SEE him. I agreed that I did too, but we would have to wait till heaven for that. Then she wanted to know if they would BOTH be in heaven — Jesus AND God. I assured her that they would.
Then she informed me that she wants me to buy her a radio. — not a little one, a big one. Because God and radios go together like peanut butter and jelly… Don’t you just love their stream of consciousness?
There was more, but it escapes me at the moment. I could have laid there and kissed on her sweet face forever, but my 6-year-old was waiting for her turn, so I tucked her in and planted one last kiss on her cheek and crossed the hall to Caroline’s room.
Caroline started talking to me about her friends at school. Then she informed me that a friend told her that the friend’s parents don’t like her because she talks too much. I’m here to tell you, pillow talk with a 3-year-old is much easier than pillow talk with a 6-year-old. I’d rather clarify complex theological truths to a 3-year-old 10 times over than explain to my 6-year-old why a so-called friend could be so intentionally mean. I assured her that I would rather have a child that talks too much than one who won’t speak up when adults talk to them.
She said she talks a lot because she is trying to learn. Insecurity was all over in her face, and I just wish I could make it all go away. I mean, she DOES talk too much. BUT SO DO I. Hello? Apple? Tree?
I could have 10 more children, and I’d never have one more like me than this one. I feel her pain, and yet she will have to learn from her own experiences how to temper her enthusiasm, and sometimes it will STILL get the better of her… EVEN WHEN SHE’S 36.
Sometimes I hear myself rattling on and I think shut up, shut up, SHUT UP! LOL. It’s just how we’re wired, my daughter and me.
I also fear that I have a hand in perpetuating her insecurities because I am impatient and even harsh with her sometimes. I can only pray that God gives me the wisdom and grace to parent her in such a way as to build up her self-esteem and assist her in learning self control. I kissed her and tucked the sheets up under her chin and assured her that I love her just the way she is. Then I made my way down the hall to my 9-year-old son’s room.
David was sitting on his bed studying his globe. And right there is the difference between boys and girls.
He wanted to know why Europe wasn’t on the globe. Yep, that’s my boy. I shifted mental gears and sat down on his bed to discuss world geography. After determining that Europe was, indeed, on the globe, we located the other six continents. Then I declared it time to put away the globe and crawl into bed.
Boys are so much less complicated than girls. At least, at this age they seem to be. My challenge with him is maintaining our bond as he gets bigger and more independent. Fortunately he’s always been a softie. Even at 9, he’s not ashamed to give me a hug in public or tell me he loves me. I love that about him.
I know there will be a few years where that changes, but hopefully they will be short-lived. I pulled his little boy baseball sheets back and got him situated in his bed. Then I ruffled his stiff, boyish hair and plopped a kiss on his forehead and said, Goodnight.