Today was a really good day.
We’ve been homebound a lot these past two weeks, thanks to a whole lot of snow and ice and my complete inability (as a native Texan) to drive in it. The fine public school administrators of Oklahoma must have guessed at my incompetence and decided to throw me a bone because they closed schools during the worst parts of this winter craziness. God bless you, scholastic powers that be.
Ana doesn’t spend much time in school every day — only two and a half hours. But the time spent getting out, dropping her off, picking her up, running errands, and just being active does a lot to dilute the crazy levels of preschooler hysteria that are part of our lives. Not that the girls are any nuttier than normal preschoolers, but they ARE normal preschoolers.
Which is why we’ve had some rough days while the snow has trapped us in. Sure, to them it made perfect sense to make a giant mountain on Ana’s bed using all of the books on their bookshelves. And Emma had a blast passing the time by pulling every single clothing item out of her dresser and making a “clothes mountain” on the floor. (What is it about mountains?!) I won’t even get into what happened in the bathroom (it involved soap and half a roll of toilet paper), but suffice it to say, every time I turn my back for a second, a certain level of insanity breaks loose around here.
I’m not the world’s greatest parent. I shouldn’t be frustrated or annoyed or just generally worn out by my very normal children. But, wow. I was. And I am. And on my worst days, I wonder how I’m going to keep having the energy to keep on keeping on until… well, when DO they finally start running out of steam?!
After cleaning up something or other yesterday (don’t you like how I can’t even remember what it was?), I dramatically threw myself on Emma’s floor and said, “You girls have killed me. KILLED me!” Emma jumped on my back (which was to be expected), and Ana laid down next to me and said, matter-of-factly, “You are the BEST, Mommy!” I closed my eyes and said, “Oh, no, Ana. I am most definitely NOT the best. But Jesus sure is working on me.” This was Em’s cue to start jumping on me (help Jesus beat that sin out!) and Ana’s cue to start giggling and yell, “You’re the best EVER!”
I survived yesterday. And vowed that today would be a day that I would do what Ana does — I’d speak some affirming words into the girls’ lives. I don’t know if Ana actually believes I’m the best (because I’ve heard her tell Charlie the very same thing and we all know she’s not exactly in love with him), but when she says it, I feel like I can pick myself right back up off the floor and clean up another preschooler-made mess.
Today was good. There were so many opportunities to speak some truth into our girls’ lives. We were snowed in again, so there was no shortage of moments together, time spent playing, and words exchanged. I talked to Emma about how wonderful it was that she shared with Ana and how I could see how God was making her beautiful not only on the outside but also on the inside. I told Ana about how much I loved seeing who God was growing her up to be, how she was a kind and caring person already, even at four years old.
And just like I had refuted her the day before, she refuted me, saying, “I’m mean sometimes. But I’m being more and more nice now every day because Jesus is making me that way.”
I heard a speaker recently who commented on her father and how committed he was to Christ. She knew this as a child, saw his devotion to the Lord in his life, and was deeply impacted by his example. She made the comment that we can make mistakes as parents but that what will stand the test of time in our children’s minds and hearts is the example of an imperfect parent who whole-heartedly tried to honor our perfect God.
Oh, how I hope that will be true for my girls, too…