I'm with my children all day, schooling them, holding them, nursing them, swinging them, feeding them, and doing anything and everything else that they need or want me to do if it's at all possible. Their needs at this juncture in their life are rather immediate and more often than not in their minds urgent. After all three of my four children are quite little, and the fourth is at home being homeschooled by me. The breaks are not often and at the end of the day I'm usually spent and find myself wanting to sit on the couch and do, well nothing. I know that this is but a season and even as I write that I find myself a little sad - despite the fact that I'm so exhausted most days.
I was talking to a friend of mine the other day about one of my children and my words suddenly hung in the air and I stopped as if I could see them clearly for the first time. Of late one of my children has been testing me and often times if I'm honest agitating me. There is this feeling of going into battle on a daily basis. I didn't think that I was speaking ill of this child, but with each conversation that I've had regarding my child the words have come out a little stronger, a little bolder. Without even noticing the transition I had started to complain and speak negatively.
I love all my children equally. Certainly there are times when one child is easier for me to deal with than another. People are different and certain personalities jive more than others. Working on a relationship doesn't always leave me with lovey feelings. Sometimes I'm downright frustrated and feel like I just want to throw my hands in the air. I know deep down though that there is something of value in all of this. There is something at work here in my home with these kids.
In my house there are many different personality traits to contend with every day. I have a snuggler, a rule follower, a bowling ball, a smiler, a pouter, a creator, a wild one, a singer, a dancer, a mess maker, a tidy organized one, a fighter, a laugher, a goof off, a show off, and a sensitive one. These descriptions barely scratch the surface.
I want to make sure that my children always feel accepted and loved no matter what. I don't want them to overhear me speaking of them in a way that could ever be interpreted as negative or demeaning. I don't want them to ever think they were the "hard" child or that another child was easier. After all, isn't it true that when things are hard pushing through to the end result is worth it. It's like a work out! You push through that squat and eventually you have awesome quads. Eventually if I push through these tough things with my kids, they'll be like awesome quads... Um...
All this to say that there has been some conviction here in my heart. I love all these small people that have come into my home - personalities puncturing my life with so much fun and love. I am blessed. I am thankful. The realization that I'm dealing with certain struggles that will not always be here because these children will learn, grow, and someday be gone from my house is not lost on me.
And so, even though there are daily battles that sometimes bring me to my knees and strong little minds and tempers with which to deal with I am going to choose to see the positive. After all, those little quirks, those traits that can be wrongly labeled as negative are almost always the positive traits as well. Being sensitive, stubborn, or verbal, can lead to someone who has compassion for others, someone who pushes through to the end result, a person who can make their voice heard.
Maybe instead of trying to stifle certain qualities we can encourage them to be directed properly.
Here is to awesome quads... ahem kids.