Today is full of reflection and praise as I think about Avery. This week has been a tough one for both of my girls' behavior. I've found myself in an almost constant struggle to control my temper and frustration, as they've pushed all the buttons they could think of. I know this is a very typical issue with moms of preschool-ish age children (maybe just of moms of any age). However, my optimism often gets me hoping for good behavior and I'm frequently disappointed!
Our trip to the dentist was a milestone for us today. It was the first time she didn't SCREAM for, I'm not kidding, the entire office to hear - and it's a very large office. A couple of months ago, she observed Allie at the dentist and was shocked at how calm her younger sister was. Since then, she's been saying she can't wait to go to the dentist to show how good she can be. Dear friends, this is such a mark of maturity in my daughter! I have been plagued with her apprehensions in so many areas, the dentist being a big one. I watched as she struggled through her x-rays, wanting to cry, but fighting through it! I watched as she let the hygienist floss her teeth and didn't hear a peep from her. Needless to say, I'm quite proud (and relieved).
And now, the meat of my struggle today: KINDERGARTEN! This week we got her teacher assignment, I bought her school supplies, and she is shopping for a backpack with her Nana this afternoon. Since she was born, we've prayed about which avenue we would walk down in our children's education. For the last year we have been very actively seeking where God wants us to send her. I've asked so many moms, teachers, called schools, and observed classrooms, always taking it back to the Lord and asking Him to lead us and prepare us for what He wants. Maybe you feel this is way too much worrying for one little mom to do, but this is who I am and something I care a lot about. In the end, the public school is where she is going, we know this is very much His plan, and it's going to be GREAT!
So, as our week has been a bit of a disaster in the area of behavior, I began to feel a little panic come on. I'm not finished with all of my training! She's not perfect yet! My daughter is still fighting her sin nature and is not ready to be a part of "the world"! Even as I think these thoughts, I hear God's voice of perfect reason: who is my child's Savior? Is it mom's job to save and perfect her? Obviously I know the answer to that. The Bible tells me that Christ is the author and perfector of our Faith - NOT our moms! I realize that much of my parenting says that I believe otherwise, though. I put so much pressure on myself to change every wrong behavior and direct my daughters' hearts toward Christ. A worthy goal, but not always possible.
Avery is now able to ride her two-wheeler. This took a lot of hard work on Mommy's part and a little bit of work from her. I was the one putting on my running shoes and jogging next to her the whole time. I was also the one taking the hit, catching her every time she was just about to fall. I have a scar on my shin to prove it. As she got better, I had to run a little farther away and give her the confidence to do it on her own - or she would never have learned. In the end, I had to start her off and watch her ride away, knowing she would fall! What a hard thing for a mom to do!! Yes, she fell several times, but she has yet to incur any injury other than a few minor bruises. So it is with life! As my children get older and step more into the world, I know there will be many opportunities to watch them fall. However, usually it's just a little bump and they get back up, having learned a little more how to stay on "the bike". And, really, thank you Lord that I'm not going to be running alongside her the whole time! Thank you that I can still observe, love, and bind her wounds when she does fall, but mothering isn't always the physical exhaustion that it's pretty much been so far. We'll step into this new stage holding onto Your Word and knowing You've already planned every step.