Monday, March 1, 2010
We drive. She sings with the music that plays. She picks out the harmony and joins in. She sings without the slightest bit of self-consciousness on our drives. She is free. She doesn't notice I stop singing just to listen to her. Her voice soothes me.
She comes to me in tears. She has been hurt by a friend. She thought she was handling it OK until she went to bed. Then the tears and uncertainty came. Ugh, junior high girls. It's par for the course, but this mama bear is still mad. I try to keep my wits about me, and help her talk through it. We wonder together what might be going on with the girl(s) who hurt her. We talk about a few ways to see the situation. She calms. She takes her tear-stained face and heads back to her bedroom.
We watch TV together...a show she loves. She is excited about it and chatters through the whole thing. I remind her that we would enjoy it better if we could hear it. :0)
She tries to create. It doesn't come as easily as she'd like. She is making jewelry to sell to raise money for a conference she plans to attend with her youth group this summer. I sit with her and make my own attempts. I acknowledge my lack of expertise and call in the reserves--my mother. One must know her limits.
I have a hard day. She can tell. She comes to sit next to me and puts her arm around me. And although unlike her--she is quiet. Loving me with her presence.
A dish here, a coat there, backpack on the floor a few feet from the hook it belongs on. She leaves a trail of her presence wherever she has been. We work on developing good habits. She has begun to get it--to realize the importance of caring for her home, and of caring for her mom who is more pleasant (ahem) when it's neat.
She is frustrated. She doesn't like that her little brother knows more about some Bible stories than she does. She feels gipped that somehow she hasn't learned as much as he has along the way. We acknowledge together that our faith walk is not about how much information we can master in our heads--but about our heart response. We talk about the different personalities she and her brother have...and how that makes a difference in what they focus on. We talk about the new opportunity to get an overview of God's Big Story as we do our lenten readings together. I see her put her pride away and ask questions about God's Word that her brother knows the answers to, and I know God is honored.
She asks me each Sunday--am I helping today? As the daughter of a Children's Ministry Director she serves a lot with the kids. I schedule her as much as I think is appropriate. Not because it is easiest for me, but because she is so great with the kids. They love her. She serves happily, and the teachers think she is wonderful. She is who I call on to assist new or unsure teachers. What a blessing to see her glorify God as she serves the little ones.
I watch through the studio window as she dances. She is long and lean, and her body is starting to work well after months off due to an injury. Her worship dance class is rehearsing a dance to a song she loves. I see glimpses of her dancing not being just about herself--but as an expression of feeling. I feel my heart quicken. The tears brim in my eyes as I feel the joy of being this beautiful girl's mother.
This is parenting Pickle. A gift for sure.
I'm unwrapping this gift today with Emily at Chatting at the Sky.