Thursday, September 18, 2008

Kung Fu Parenting

So, I used to be an intense blogger like I was an intense parent. I would type, check my grammar, check my spelling, save it as a draft, read over it make sure it was as good as I needed it to be and then post it. Just like how I checked the kids over from head to toe before we went out or how I made the kindergartner pick out an item for show and tell that was just perfect, you know nothing that would make people think, "what kind of mother does she have?" I can't remember when I gave it up, not the exact moment anyway. But, I have been tired for a long time and now I let more things slide; which my friends tell me is a good thing. I post quickly and full of haste sometimes not even catching obvious spelling or grammar (comma happy:)) errors, and I just don't get worked up about it like I used to. I parent the same way. I try to catch teachable moments when we get them which, unfortunately are becoming more few and far between as we add to our family.

I haven't been feeling well and dh had plans to help his mom and dad shingle their house so he took the baby and the preschooler to give me a break from running around all day. Yesterday morning, after a rough night (I am positive it was the stomach flu, ick) my oldest and I were at the breakfast table. She is eating her cereal and I am drinking my water and she says to me, "It's been a long time since we had a girls day, mom." I am sure I haven't spent time alone with her since before the baby was born. After much conversation we decide to go to an early movie after school.

The cheap theater's earliest movie we could make was Kung Fu Panda and we actually missed the first 5 minutes or so because we stopped at the $100 store first. DD was talking a mile a minute in the store, "Mom, look at these costumes, oh my - they are so fancy." She talked her way around the entire store. I worried she would pass out from not taking a breath in between sentences. We made it to the movie just in time to see the old Master choose the panda to be the dragon warrior. "There are no accidents." he said. I may have been reaching a bit but I think the movie had a ton of parallels to my life, especially the parenting part. I am not a believer in Chinese wisdom, but my Bible and my Christian morals tell me to deal with what I have been dealt. That if I have faith in God, He will help me through pretty much anything I encounter. There is no secret ingredient that will make us stronger or wiser. We must believe. I am stretching the message of the movie to meet my beliefs as a Christian, but that is the way I explained it to my daughter and it satisfied her almost 7 year old brain.

I let her pick the food and she chose Sonic, ick. We are sitting in the car visiting and she is going a mile a minute again, who's daughter is she?

"Mom, it's a good thing we did this today before the new baby comes because dad couldn't take two babies and ds with him when he goes places."

"I am glad the baby is not here, she would be crying and we couldn't talk to each other."

"My teacher said she liked my hair, maybe we can get up early, before the baby does and you can do my hair like this every day? I like having cute, pretty hair."

"Can I be a mom and not get married? My teacher said you loved daddy in first grade but I don't like boys and I don't want to get married, but I really want to be a mom and a teacher?"

"I know you love dad the most, but which kid is your favorite?"

and then after we had a bit of silence where I could actually see the wheels in motion in her head, she lays this one on me...

"How much love do you have, mom? Enough for all of us?"

I lost it. Tears and slobber, I almost choked on my condiment free grilled chicken sandwich and I reached across the seat to grab her and hold her and tell her that I had enough love for all my children. Each one is my absolute favorite and no one could ever replace her or any one else. I told her about when she first came home from the hospital and how beautiful and tiny she was and how much her daddy loved her, too.

That's about enough girl days for us, I think. I need to recuperate a bit.

I love you, firstborn. You will always be very special to me. I hope you never ever forget that.
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