So we traveled to Texas to see the family over Christmas break and while flying back with a 5 year old, a 3 year old, and a baby our flight stopped but we didn't have a plane change. Which really means we were on the same plane for around 6 hours. Our kids are pretty good travelers and we usually don't have major meltdowns or anything I feel like I need to apologize to all those around me for. While we were sitting on the plane...not going anywhere (this I find frustrating if I'm on an airplane without any kids with me) our kids became a little restless, Princess K to be precise.
Now I understood that naptime was upon us, but napping wasn't interesting at that point. Then, I remembered again why the best plan is two parents, because Handsome K, (my really smart husband who rolled his eyes when I told him what I was going to call him on my blog) took them to see the cockpit up front which took up 10 minutes...
...now what to do with the next 45.
Needless to say there were a lot of different ways to say, don't, stop, be quieter, calm down etc...which handsome K and I issued out to our oldest two.
So in my attempt to find another way to say don't, I said to Princess K, “If I were you I wouldn't...”
I didn't really think twice about what I really said.
Princess K looks at me and says, “you'll never be me mommy.”
I didn't understand her and in just a few seconds had already mentally moved on from my previous re-direction of her actions.
She said again, a little bit louder, “you'll never be me mommy.”
I finally register that she is responding to what I had said to her .
I stop and smile and tell Handsome K what she just said, momentarily thinking it's both cute and pretty smart of her.
Then a small healthy dose of fear sets in...I know me and I don't want her to be me, I don't want her to struggle with my struggles, or be a perfectionist, or think she has to please me. I want her to be Princess K in all that God made her to be.
Then, I scoop her into my arms and say, “you're right, God made you Princess K, and you will always be Princess K.” I want you to be you.” I didn't think about my comment as confusing, because what I meant was “my way is better than the way you are doing things and if you are smart you will choose my way.”
Of course I wouldn't say that.
I didn't communicate smooth enough for a 3 year old. What this little misunderstanding did inside my head was remind me to encourage her to be her. To be confident of who God made her to be, not be me or anyone else.
I tell Little K all the time to make choices for Little K. I accidentally communicated to Princess K to copy my choices. I don't think I'll be saying “if I were you...” for awhile. My intentions were good, but it said something to my kids that I didn't want to say. I tend to do this to those I love the most....say something I don't really want to say. Somehow it escapes me and I let it out.
God reminded me that I often make choices that will please others.
I want to be what God has made me to be.
No matter what choices that leads me to make.
Today is Little K's 6th birthday, and like every one of my children's birthdays it takes me back to their first and brings me to my knees...praying and begging that God's grace will cover my parenting mistakes and irrational moments.
Praying that I will encourage them to make choices for themselves that will make God smile because His plan is best.
Birthdays make me pray hard that I have and continue to teach them all that I need to and want to about life and relationship with our Heavenly Father.
I need moments like on the plane, a small but meaningful reality check to happen, in our conversation to remind me she's just 3, he's just 6. Expect great things, but talk to them like children, not putting too much pressure on them to be grown up yet. That will happen all too fast.
God knit me together in my mother's womb, He made me and my kids just like he planned...life out loud just as God made you.
I will too.