The Santa Issue

When I was around eight years old, a neighbor asked me what I asked Santa for Christmas, to which I promptly replied, “I don’t believe in Santa. My mom and dad buy my gifts.”

Her frosted blond hair curled in horror and she quickly recovered with, “Well, just because you can’t see him doesn’t mean he’s not real. He lives in your heart.”

Jesus lives in my heart,” I shot back.

This little exchange was, I believe, the seed of the bad blood that continued over the years. It was obvious she never liked my know-it-all confidence and clearly preferred my cute little sister.

My parents were of the opinion that lying is always wrong and taught us the stern truth about Santa: there was indeed a gift-giver named Saint Nick, but never the portly intruder in red that invades homes worldwide via chimney every Christmas Eve, eating our cookies and stuffing our socks.

Besides offending my middle-aged neighbor, I don’t know if I ruined anybody else’s Christmas that year.

It’s the last part that has kept me from telling my son the absolute truth right away.

Kids are natural town criers. I’ve never met a little kid that knew the truth about Santa that didn’t crow about it to everyone they met. Telling kids about Santa too soon is like telling them about sex before they’re ready – everyone will hear about it and squirm. Some just cry.

My son is four and has asked if Santa is real and I just ask what he thinks and listen to him reason out what he believes is true. Right now, he is of the opinion that because reindeer are real, Santa must also be real. I’ll just let him go with that for now. I don’t want him going around telling all his little friends that Santa is a fake and be responsible for crushing their candy-coated dreams.

How we deal truth is important. We can treat it like a gift or a closed fist.

I won’t lie to my son about Santa, but there are a couple of reasons I’m not in a hurry to stamp out his budding faith with one reality-infused whump.

First of all, I want to help my son be sensitive towards the kids whose families have built up visions of Santa with jingling bells and reindeer hoof prints. For him, this is just the beginning of learning to respect what others believe. I don’t ever want him thumping heads with truth, but to reach hearts with kindness.

Secondly, I don’t want to disrupt his current understanding of faith.

I don’t want him to quickly dismiss anything he can’t see as false and unlikely. As he’s starting to weigh out the signs of what could make Santa “real”, I want to take his search for evidence of this “other” even further and point it to Jesus. Eventually he will learn that the signs do not point to the North Pole but to a very real Jesus that compels us to celebrate.

For me, Santa is just the beginning of the conversation. It’s the opportunity to talk about love and truth, faith and the unseen. But rather than pump him with the belief that there is a kindhearted Santa with gifts for him once a year, I choose to redirect his hope towards a grace-filled Savior that has blessings in store for him all of his life.

People are Mean

There was this kid at my high school that was rumored to be a circus performer. He was a year younger than me so I didn’t have classes with him or know him at all, let alone if that was true. Circus performer or not, he clearly loved to juggle and do other carnival-style feats and would practice his little stunts during breaks and lunch time.

I remember this one particular group of kids that would often ask him to do tricks in the middle of the jam-packed hallway between classes. They’d chant and clap and cheer until there was a ring of rubbernecks around him and he’d eagerly comply with their entertainment whims.

Unfortunately, they weren’t actually interested in his talents. They were just looking for someone to ridicule; just a bunch of heartless gawkers looking for a freak show, a dancing bear. There was a lot of muffled laughter and overenthusiastic applause to keep the show going. And it did. Because for a fleeting moment, that kid thought he was a star. It was like watching someone coerce their love-starved dog into doing silly tricks for a little appreciation and a pitiful treat. It was pathetic.

People are mean. Some people enjoy being mean the way some of us enjoy crumbling dirt in our hands and watching the grains sift through our fingers.

Middle school girls are especially mean. Gossip, insults, silent treatment, exclusion, out-and-out lies and bullying are what my daughter sees or is sometimes the victim of daily.

It’s really hard for me as a mom to not want to storm through her cafeteria and go all Jesus-and-the-money-changers on those kids and start flipping over tables and beating the bottoms of those sadistic kids with a big ol’ paddle. Instead, I’m doing my best to teach my daughter how to stick up for herself and others, to talk things out first and when that doesn’t work, tell the teachers about it. I am trying my darnedest to help her empathize with these bullies and remind her that when people are unhappy and unloved, they lash out.

Mostly, though, we talk about forgiveness. Because when the little tiffs blow over, when she moves on to high school or college – no matter where she goes – there will be more mean people and unfair treatment waiting for her.

I wish I could tell her it’s just the way kids are at her age. It would be nice if I could tell her that she won’t have to worry about getting hurt at church or other places that should be “safe”. I would love it if people simply grew out of their meanness.

But we all know it’s just not as simple as all that. Understanding and practicing forgiveness are the only ways to cope with this harsh reality.

Designed by God, forgiveness is a strange and beautiful paradox. When we forgive, we are healed; when our hearts are doused in pain, forgiveness ignites compassion. It keeps our spirit soft and our hearts intact. It strengthens resolve to say “yes” whenever you can, help whenever you’re able, support, guide and encourage whenever its needed because you know how badly it hurts to be ignored, rejected and betrayed  – especially by those you thought were on your side.

I don’t want my little girl that used to burst onto playgrounds looking for friends with her pigtails flying and arms wide to become jaded and reticent because of the thoughtless behavior of others. I would do anything to spare my daughter from unkindness, but people will always fail, including me. And when they do I don’t want my daughter to lose faith in humanity, I want her to find strength in the God that restores her heart and renews her mind so that she remains confident in herself and tender towards others even when they’re mean.

Angie Derrick 10/25/2012 ©

How to Love Wild and Crazy

My son was screaming at the top of the stairs this morning, his shock of straight black hair in horn-like tufts, dark eyes pinched in a scowl. He was crouched down and naked, shouting at me to help get his jammies back on. Only six thirty in the morning and already “Mowgli” had his undies in a bunch….figuratively speaking, of course.

This boy is something else. He wrestles with his dinosaurs while singing Disney songs. He gives his animals names like “Dangerous” and “Jesus”. He is temperamental and intense. He loves horses and loathes green peppers. There is nothing middle-of-the-road or easy-going about my four-year-old son.

We’re still working on thinking before screaming and “using his words”. For instance, some children simply tell their mommies that they don’t like their dinner. My son, however, will throw his head back and yell, “I HATE THIS MEATBALL! I’m never EVER going to eat it!!”

To him, unpleasant dinners are a personal affront.

Things have improved and there have been fewer “Give me liberty or give me death” type rants at the dinner table, but change has crawled along at a glacial pace.

He is nothing like my daughter. His older sister was a compliant and sweet little girl. She made me look like Mom of the Year.

My son does not. In fact, I’m pretty sure that when people see him in the grocery store shouting at larger ladies that they have big butts or pitching a fit about donuts, I’m guessing people assume I left him to be raised by wolves.

This child has bruised my pride, makes me laugh, loves me fiercely and overwhelms my soul. He forces me to rethink everything: parenting, relationships, myself. I’ve had to ask myself a lot of tough questions. I have been challenged by this little boy whose grenade-like personality keeps me wondering what will be left of me when I pull the pin.

But I want to know him and understand him. With my daughter, I knew I could take her anywhere, she would eat anything and she always did what she was told. With my son, I’m constantly considering a myriad of factors that could make or break his day.

I have had to put myself in his little shoes quite often and try my best to imagine how truly odd, frustrating, exciting and new his life must be. How surreal it must be to live in a place where nearly everyone is twice your size, new experiences and change happen daily and your tiny body is always too small for your oversized zest for life. I don’t want to simply chalk up his bad behavior to being a brat because as untamed as his temper seems at times, he also loves just as wildly. Yes, kids are sometimes just naughty and often they just want what they want. But I want to understand what makes my boy tick so I can empathize and delight in his little world with him.

I’m glad to report that he is more often than not, a fun, well-behaved kid. But his stubbornness and reckless emotions have most definitely pushed me to my limits. I have to admit, there have been days that I’ve relished evil daydreams about leaving him at home with the Disney channel on, a giant bowl of goldfish crackers, a case of juice boxes and then madly peeling out of the driveway in my sensible gray sedan leaving stress in a cloud of smoke far behind me. Honestly, the only thing that has kept me from strangling or completely ignoring him during chaotic seasons is being prepared.

I prepare myself with prayer and bible time. I read articles and books about parenting little boys. I ask questions, share my frustrations with people I trust, I lean on my husband and don’t try to figure everything out on my own. I don’t just hope that my son will be loved and turn out well, I plan for it. And even though  I’ve done all my homework, and listened to every guru, I place it all in God’s capable hands and trust that He will inspire me, lead me and fill in every gap I’ve unwittingly left open.

My son isn’t the first and he isn’t going to be the last person that will challenge me. There will always be a relationship that requires more energy and preparation than others. Some people are hard to understand, many fail us habitually and some are just difficult to love.

Choosing to pursue and fully love my crazy boy has opened a new door for me. I find myself more sympathetic, more patient and generally more ready to delve into the work that loving people can be. If we just ignore or punish people for being more complicated or needy than we’re used to then we’re writing a lot of people off, including ourselves.

It’s not easy and I have a lot to learn, but I trust that God will bless my efforts and give me exactly enough joy, strength and energy to get through. When my son places his soft dimpled hand into mine and he tells me with warm brown eyes that he loves me, it reminds me that these moments are the reason I press on.

Angie Derrick 9/20/2012 ©

The Problem With Perfect Children

Have you ever met parents that think everything their kids do is brilliant? That they are the most beautiful, most talented and most flawlessly created specimens of humankind?

I guess you could argue that all parents should feel that way – about their own kids. These aforementioned parents seem convinced that their feelings are in fact common knowledge and that everyone should agree.

Parents like this brag about their child’s prodigious potty training debut and carry on their wild applause of every plunk into the bucket junior makes forever after, even into adulthood.

While I think being proud and head-over-heels in love with your kids is wonderful, sometimes I think parents are blindly devoted and only believe in the superiority of their kids. But does it really do your kids any good to believe they are perfect and always the best?

Maybe my children just aren’t as well-behaved as some, but it doesn’t take very long before they do something to disrupt any fantasies of so-called “perfection”.

My preschool son is not very easy to be around sometimes. He is cautious and slow to make transitions so in many instances when there isn’t time for a warning or countdown to the next item on the agenda, he freaks out to varying degrees. Sometimes it’s just a few minutes of whining and other times it is a full-on meltdown with deep, hiccupping sobs. The escalation from mild disappointment to crumpling on the floor, crying and rolling around inconsolably happens in the blink of an eye. One moment I’m telling him that we won’t be buying corndogs when we go to the grocery store and the next moment I am practically talking him down from a ledge and reminding him that he has the rest of his life ahead of him with plenty of chances to eat corndogs.

Mostly he is sweet and thoughtful; he loves to sing, make up dances, races his cars and plastic horses. But when he is in a foul mood, it feels like I’m being punished.

Right now he’s thirty-eight pounds of fiery emotion and still manageable. But what the future holds, I have no idea. Will loving him be a difficult task?

I think of how even God deals with badly behaved children. Even when presented with the greatest gifts and most extravagant affection his children still act out and fight his love tooth and nail. All throughout the bible you’ll see that he never seems to mince words about their behavior or the consequences. Yet you’ll also see that he looks at his children’s imperfections full in the face and chooses to offer love, forgiveness and direction.

I don’t want to lie to my children and make them believe they are better than everyone else. I don’t want to inflate them with pride and make extending grace a chore. I want to follow God’s example and lovingly guide them through their weaknesses and use them as opportunities to foster empathy and patience within them. I’d rather let my children feel imperfect once in a while so that they look up to a gracious God for help than to set them atop a pedestal, only to look down.

 

Angie D 5/25/12 ©

Parades, Trains and F-Bombs

Thanksgiving weekend is one of my favorite times of year. Thursday is a mouth-watering marathon of roasted turkey, creamy mashed potatoes, buttery-smooth sweet potato pie and platter after steaming platter of decadent sides. Then early on Friday morning, after the turkey haze has faded and belt notches have been added, we head into downtown Seattle for the Christmas parade and holiday festivities.  

While others are braving the ruthless horde of Black Friday shoppers, my family shivers on the sidewalk watching marching bands, drill teams and other performers stomp down Fourth Street. What follows is a long holiday trek through the city with my grandmother, mother, sisters, brother-in-law, sister’s boyfriend, nieces, husband, children and a double stroller the size of a Cadillac. After a nerve-wracking day of restraining my wild son through fragile exhibits and trudging through the massive crowd, we are haggard and weary. The quiet train ride home is a long-awaited reprieve from the madness.

While on the light rail heading home from Seattle, we sat near a group of teenage girls whose every sentence was a cornucopia of expletives. Laughter and a frenzy of F-bombs sailed through the air like grenades and with each one that hit the air I winced and struggled to find a way to deal with them.

I was especially concerned about what my three-year-old son would pick up. He has already learned some bad words from similar situations and it has taken some concerted time and effort to work them out of his vocabulary. It made me very angry that I was going to have to deal with someone else’s poor choices influencing my kid again.

I seriously thought about confronting them. Normally I’m a “mama bear” and will take charge of situations that I feel like are hurting my children. But for some reason, it didn’t feel like that was what I was supposed to do this time. I felt like I was supposed to hold back this time and handle the situation differently

So I started talking to my son. I whispered funny things to him, asked him questions about our day, talked about his favorite things and just kept talking and talking and talking. It was tiring, especially after a long day in the city. But I kept going until they were gone, because I wanted my words to be what he heard and remembered.

By the time our ride was over, I had calmed down. What I realized is that those girls were probably just talking the only way they knew how. They probably weren’t even thinking about how offensive they were because they were having fun and other than the profanity, weren’t doing any harm. They probably didn’t know any better and most likely weren’t given examples of any better.

Those young ladies are not my enemy, and they’re not out to ruin my kids. While there is a time and a place to protect and stand up for what’s right, there’s never a time to condemn. If I had said something, it would have been from a place of judgment and anger.

I’m finding that with both of my kids, my influence has to be intentional and louder than the negative influences that surround them. Not every face off between good and evil calls for a fight; sometimes I need to flood my children’s environment with good things and drown out the bad. Not only for their sake, for the sake of those “causing” the problem, because who knows when the next time will be that they witness what God’s goodness and love look like. I’d rather turn up the volume on grace than shut down those that need it.

Angie Derrick 11/28/2011 ©

The Reason I Write

With the help of my son's antics, I will never run out of stories to tell or lessons to learn.

I was reading some of my past blog entries the other day looking for areas that my writing and website could use improving. Quite unexpectedly, twinges of sadness slowly welled up in me as I read from the softer, more gracious version of myself. The heartache cut deeper as I realized that I have become less observant, less patient, and overall less thankful for the gift that my children are to me.

I’m normally a very calm person. I’m usually pretty patient and not easily overwhelmed. But recently, I’ve had days that I thought I would completely lose my temper and unleash it on my children. There have been moments as of late that I felt like I was completely unraveling.

What changed? Why did teeth-grinding stress take the place of the wonder and awe of motherhood?

Some of it is that my kids are more complicated now and parenting isn’t just managing their basic needs. They are becoming individuals with characters that are much harder to mold than their sleeping and feeding schedules.

But as I read from my past writings and searched my heart, I knew that my son’s times of unrelenting defiance and my daughter’s surly skulking around are not the only sources of my stress. 

The problem is me.

I let my grip on God’s grace loosen over time until I was left grasping at the shreds of my sanity. Instead of focusing on God and choosing to give thanks to him in all circumstances, I’ve been dwelling on my frustrations.

It’s easy to give thanks when praiseworthy things happen. And when life is painful and dark, giving thanks becomes your last hope. But in the peskiness of daily living, it’s harder to remember to give thanks because the challenges seem like something I should be able to manage, not a gift or a trial.

But I need to thank God in all things. I need to thank him when my son’s public tantrums kick my dignity in the head. I need to thank him for his goodness when my daughter’s unreasonableness rubs my last tender nerve utterly raw. I need to praise him until his presence is so thick in the atmosphere of my home that every move I make, every word I say, every thought I have, is coated with it.

I don’t want to forget this ever again. I don’t want to lay this conviction aside and hope that I will remember to act on what I know is true.

I remember the things I write down better than the things I don’t. I write so that I remember what God speaks to my heart. I want to look back at this recorded moment in time and have my memory refreshed and my strength restored.

My sweet beautiful girl. She is the first person I really ever wrote about. She continues to inspire me.

Living With Crocodiles

It’s funny to me how often my eleven-year-old asks the same questions about sex. She really doesn’t get it. She’s read about it, we’ve talked about it and she’s asked plenty of questions fueled by the misinformation she’s gotten from little know-it-all friends.

But somehow, my little girl is still confused. My guess is that it sounds like yet another mind bending equation for my mathematically challenged fifth grader. She’s probably still trying to figure out how 1 + 1 could still equal 1.

I’m not in a hurry for her to figure it all out, and neither is she. One of my favorite things about my little girl is her innocence and how much she enjoys being a kid. I guard and cherish her innocence fiercely because it goes away all too quickly and so easily.

It deeply saddens me to see how quickly children grow up and try out the world of adults. Sometimes, the fearful mother in me wants to steal my daughter away from anything that could harm or harden my little girl. But not only is it a complete fantasy to think I could actually shield her from every force of negativity, it is living in fear.

Rather, I want to learn from Jochebed, mother of Moses. She tried hiding her son for three months during a time when the Pharaoh ordered every Hebrew baby boy to be thrown into the Nile; but in as little as three months, hiding him because impossible.

She was faced with two horrifying choices: Baby Moses’ inevitable discovery and murder, as he was already too big to hide, or taking her chances with the crocs and hippos of the Nile. Her solution? She built a miniature boat from a papyrus basket that she coated with tar and pitch. Then she placed her son inside, nestled and snug as he floated in the Nile.

But Jochebed wasn’t a fool. She didn’t just toss her child into the river. She built a strong, waterproof vessel, she sent her older daughter to keep watch as he drifted, and she put him among the reeds, the safest place she could find in the home of crocodiles.

The irony of it all is that while she desperately tried to spare her son from being thrown into the Nile, ultimately, that is where she was forced to leave him.

But God showed her that his plan and his ways will overcome any circumstance we deem “impossible”. Her courage to literally leave her son to God’s will was blessed in a twist of events she could never have foreseen. Her son was not only spared, he was found by Pharaoh’s daughter to be raised as royalty and in the shelter of the man that ordered his death. Jochebed was personally blessed as well. Probably thinking she would never see Moses again, she was reunited with him and paid by Pharaoh’s daughter to nurse and care for him.

Of course, the story of Moses does not end with just a mother and child happily rejoined, but he went on to be chosen by God to free the enslaved Israelites. Her courageous faith didn’t just impact her life, it extended to the lives of all Hebrews.

I hope to never be faced with the excruciating choice Jochebed had to make. But I hope I will step out in faith, whatever difficult situations I will face as a parent. That doesn’t mean I won’t prepare and protect my children the best that I can. I just don’t want to give in to a mentality of fear and panic that causes me to close my children off from the world that we as Christians were meant to minister to. My daughter isn’t my personal legacy, she is God’s, and my job is to keep her safe, sound and ready to be used by Him.

Deborah, Mother of Israel

I’ve been thinking a lot about the biblical account of Deborah lately. In the past I would get distracted by the details of war and Sisera’s gruesome assassination by tent peg. But mostly, I would get stuck on the theme of “girl power”. How could I not? Deborah was the only female judge of Israel, the commander of an army, prophetess, and a strong and powerful woman.

But as I’ve read and reread her story, I see less a story about personal accomplishment and bravery, and more about the God-given power of being a mom.

Deborah referred to herself as “a mother in Israel” (Judges 5:7). Not a judge or a ruler, but a mother. I think that even though she was given the unique opportunity to lead Israel, in her heart she was first and foremost a mom. Mothers are made to nurture, grow and teach, to freely comfort and fiercely protect. Perhaps by calling herself “a mother” she realized she was chosen to lead for those God-given strengths and had the wisdom to use them.

I think a lot of times as moms we feel like we’ve traded in our “true” identity for motherhood, or like our many roles in life are conflicting. But maybe this glimpse into Deborah’s heart can show us that perhaps God gave us motherhood not to steal from our identity, but for the opportunity to galvanize it.

Parenthood regularly offers the testing of personal and spiritual mettle. Often the challenges will make us feel extremely under-qualified and cause us to wonder if we really have what it takes to lead our kids successfully through struggles and hardships.

The bible doesn’t seem to indicate that Deborah was hesitant or doubtful, but I wonder if she ever felt anxious about the enormity of her role. I would venture to guess that she did, maybe even often. Her circumstances certainly had the potential to cause doubt. At the time Deborah led, Israel was being cruelly oppressed by the Canaanite general, Sisera, and was preparing to go to war. In reality, a seasoned warrior may have been more fitting, but instead God appointed a mother to lead Israel.

Deborah was known for her wisdom, not for her fighting prowess or skills in tactical warfare. She wisely settled difficult matters between parties, and offered knowledge and instruction to all that came to her. If anyone in Israel needed her, they went to a place known as “The Palm of Deborah”.

As a mom, it struck me how important it is to have a “spot” both literal and figurative, where my kids can find me; where they know that I will prepare for and meet their needs. Perhaps that is why God chose Deborah to lead Israel through such a tumultuous time: she was ready and available. I think Israel needed more than just a soldier to win them victory over the enemy; they needed a mother that depended on God for the strength to lead her children and rehabilitate them.

I love the story of Deborah in the bible. I love that she defied stereotypes and tradition by being the only female judge of Israel. But more impressive to me is that she knew she didn’t need to shed her mom role to be powerful. Her strength was being a mom. It was in fulfilling her God-given role that all other tasks flourished: her wisdom, confidence as a mom and her courage to rise to the occasion for her kids.

Angie 9/24/10 ©

My Life As My Kids Tell It

It seems like as soon as your children can speak your life becomes fodder for their conversations and show-and-tell. I shudder to think of how many embarrassing tidbits of information my daughter has nonchalantly shared over the years and the ones that my son will inevitably contribute. Kids in general have no qualms about being blunt and seem to love exposing all kinds of “truths”. They are natural town criers and apparently nothing is sacred.

I remember when my daughter was in preschool her grandma told her that she would grow to be tall like her. To which my little girl quipped, “Yup, but not fat!”

When I made my daughter apologize, she looked genuinely perplexed. As far as she was concerned, there was nothing to be sorry about she was just stating the facts.

Then there’s the classic scenario of someone passing gas when kids are around. You better hope it wasn’t you because you can expect a witch hunt to promptly ensue to track down the guilty party. Be assured that they that smelt it are bound and determined to discover who dealt it. In their minds, they aren’t rude little vigilantes; they are simply pursuing the truth.

Now that I have two kids repeating my words and watching my every move, I’m trying to look at myself a little closer lately and reflect on what my example is teaching them. What phrases, habits, attitudes and other unintended lessons will they pick up and – gulp – repeat?

Children are wonderful little mirrors of your true self and they don’t spare your ego. They reveal everything from your most over-used phrases and mannerisms to your real, unscripted nature by parroting. I’ve heard many of my personal opinions coming out of my daughter’s sweet little mouth as though they were her own original thoughts. Most of the time, it just sounds goofy and cumbersome because they are the thoughts of a 30-year-old, not a fourth grader.

And then there are the times that her mimicry sounds ugly and harsh because even though she is innocently imitating me, those words, like a smoking gun, are the evidence of my least attractive moments.

Since my kids are 10 and 2 years old, I have the distinct honor of housing two little meters of truth and decorum for many, many years. There is nothing like the truth of who you are staring you in the face as manifested in the words and behavior that your kids learned from you! My kids have unwittingly shown me through their childish impersonations of me that I desperately need God to shape me into a person my children can emulate.

God truly has a sense of humor.

Angie 6/3/10 ©

Separation Anxiety

My son is in a stage where nearly every time I leave him with a babysitter, or in the church nursery, he cries pitifully and reaches out to me. My heart goes out to him every time and I can’t help but put myself in his tiny shoes. What if he truly believes I’ve left him? What a scary thought for a little boy to suddenly realize he is helpless. How traumatic it must be to think that your own mother has left you crying and wailing, with no idea of when or if she will return.

I know he’ll grow out of it and separation anxiety is a completely normal phase of early childhood. Thankfully, he almost always ends up calm and distracted with toys just minutes after I leave, but it doesn’t make it any easier to watch his chubby face crumple with tears. I still feel like a jerk every time I leave.

As painful as it is to see him panic, it is a poignant reminder of how vulnerable and small he really is. I don’t want to over-analyze or indulge his fits of crying when I leave him and I certainly don’t want to beat myself up over what is a typical phase for toddlers. But it helps me to get a little peek into his thoughts and feelings and have a little more patience and direction with him.

Though I don’t remember it at all, I can imagine that being two years old could be pretty challenging. It must be strange to be so much smaller than everyone else and unable to clearly articulate what you think, feel and need. Then there is the double whammy of being a boy, so he’s not excessively chatty anyway and his favorite form of communication is dizzying physical activity and demolition. Any way you look at it, he’s bound to be frustrated and misunderstood.   

Though it has created more work for me, his wildness and temperamental nature have been a gift. To try to see life through his eyes so that I can reach him has softened me and made me want to be more aware of the other unspoken needs of my children. There is so much he doesn’t know how to say and plenty that even my ten year old daughter doesn’t know how to express, but I’m looking for it. I’m trying to anticipate their needs a little better, spend the time is takes to get to know them and hopefully be a better mom to them.

My son has only known me for two years and eventually being left with a sitter won’t freak him out. One day he will trust and understand that I love him and would never just abandon him; I’ll always come back for him, always seek him out. I think that’s what every kid wants and what makes them feel loved and secure – that someone is always looking out for their best interests and wants to know who they really are.

Angie 5/27/10 ©


  • I believe in Jesus, loving people, living fully and creating good things. Whether it's art, food or finding solutions, I am always in "creative mode". With this blog I hope to encourage and help others to live in whatever "mode" God has called them to.

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