Friday, November 4, 2011

Acorns and Pumpkins: An Old Poem

An old poem describes a woman walking through a meadow, meditating on nature. While strolling about, she came upon a field of golden pumpkins. In the corner of the field stood a majestic, huge oak tree.

She sat under the oak tree musing on the strange twists in nature which put tiny acorns on huge branches and huge pumpkins on tiny vines. She thought to herself, "God blundered with Creation! He should have put the small acorns on the tiny vines and the large pumpkins on the huge branches."
Nodding off, the woman stretched out under the oak tree for a nap. A few minutes after falling asleep she was awakened by a tiny acorn bouncing off her nose. Chuckling to herself, she rubbed her nose and thought, "Maybe God was right after all!"

"You make being a mom seem so easy!" another mom said to me at Ikea the other day. She was a stranger to me. Had she not been, she would know that this is not easy for me. Sometimes I think God got confused when He gave me these three little children. Surely He meant to give them to someone with more patience and stamina than me! Yes I wanted them...desired them...prayed and begged for them...but, most days I go to bed thinking "I don't know how I am going to do this again tomorrow!"

The other mom was very frustrated with her toddler because the little girl wouldn't eat her lunch. What the mom didn't understand was that I seemed "relaxed" because I really did not care whether my kids ate their lunch or not...I was just so elated that we actually got out of the house! I also have no expectations when we go out...I know good and well that I might invest two hours into getting us prepared to leave the house only to have to turn around and go home shortly after arriving at our destination.

You see, "easy" is a subjective word. When I had just Ella, I thought it was really hard. Actually, it was hard and she still is difficult in my opinion...not because she herself is difficult, but because she is my guinea pig. Every new phase I go through with her will always be hard because she will always be my first one I go through it with. She is learning and growing and so am I. (Dear God, PLEASE don't let me screw her up!It's not her fault!)

I wish I would have had more time to explain to this mom that it wasn't that I was doing it better. I guess you could say that I've learned not to sweat the small stuff. It doesn't mean I excuse contraire! But there is a difference between a child being childish and a child being disobedient. Childish behavior still needs guidance, but not necessarily a punishment. For example, Jacob is at the stage where he throws food on the floor. He is not purposefully doing something to disobey me...he is just being childish. I still guide him and tell him "no, no." Now, there will come a point where I feel like he understands and it becomes an obedience issue. But, at the moment, it is simply a childish thing he does...I'd be popping his hand 5 times a day otherwise...and I just can't do that until I feel like he understands. I know some books/people would say/argue that you should pop them on the hand or something like that from the very beginning. I don't. Now if Ella threw food on the better believe she would be disciplined for that behavior. I digress...

My point is that I don't let childish behavior bother me. When I child acts childish, their hearts are not trying to hurt you. I think if you allow it to cause you anxiety, you will feel very burdened by your children. You will never want to leave the house. You are expecting perfection and these little ones are far from perfect. I would probably even say to just expect childish behavior when you take them somewhere. Your outtings will be so much more enjoyable when you don't expect perfection. That other mom's little girl?...she was just being childish. She wasn't being disobedient. She was just acting like a child.

I am NOT a parenting expert. But, I have learned a few things from my mistakes. Maybe God gave me three little ones because He knew I needed to "chill out" get over myself and my Type-A personality. Someone may completely disagree with me. That's ok. I know I'm just doing the best I can. I would say one of our biggest conversations through the years with Ella is when Andrew and I look at each other and say "ok. This is no longer her being childish. She is being disobedient and she knows better." There are also times where we decide that we need to just back off because she just doesn't quite get it yet.

I'm still figuring it out like every other mommy. I've just learned to extend a little grace...both to myself and my children. Maybe God was right after all. Maybe He knew I would know how to love these three little ones the way they would need.

I'm so glad He put three heavy pumpkins on my little tiny vine. So, don't ever think I have it all together. I'm just learning a little about extending grace. After all, don't we all need a little grace from time to time?


Lauren said...

Good post!

Mommy Belle said...

You should write a book! Very well said! Beautiful! I often think God gave me these two girls to also chill my type A personality. Though I'm not sure it is working on me! :)

Shawn said...

bravo! i enjoy your writing so, so much!

Taylor Wise said...

I was just thinking about the same thing yesterday, but as it relates to my deaf child. Why that special need? Why not another one? What did we need to learn in God's eyes that we could only learn from that bump on our lives? We will all find out those answers one day I think. As the years go by.

The Tablescaper said...

I was doing a Google search for a poem about acorns that I am preparing for this weekend when happened by your post. I love the poem and plan on using it in my post and was wondering if you knew the author.

While I was here I read your post and have to say I love it. I too am a mother of three but mine are much older. My oldest is a freshman in college and I think how did that time fly by? It took me a LONG time to be a relaxed mom - a lot longer than you. Kudos! Great post and a wonderful outlook.

- The Tablescaper

Sarah said...

everywhere I search, it just says "anonymous". Sorry I couldn't have been more help!