I just adore my kids. I fall in love with them a little more each day.
This little boy, wears his cow costume most days of his life. I'm pretty sure I cursed myself silly for sewing his costume (instead of buying this pre-made) last Halloween, but seeing how much enjoyment he gets from it makes me want to make him about 15 more.
Maybe you know this about me, and maybe you don't, but I admit it with shame here: I am a yeller. I've been following the Orange Rhino blog for a while now, and it has been helping quite a bit.
(For the record, I don't like to make a habit of advertising my faults on the world wide web. But, this tidbit about me is relevant to this story about Lincoln I want to share.)
Just yesterday, Lincoln started to jump on my antique sewing machine case like a trampoline. I felt myself starting to boil up inside, but was able to stifle my reaction, talk myself down, keep myself on simmer, and respond in a firm but loving manner instead of yelling in anger like I normally would. And, what did my boy do when he witnessed this scene? He stopped, came over to me and gave me a kiss on the cheek. He then folded up the case and put it back in the closet where it belongs.
This boy, he's helping me to become a better person. He appreciates my efforts in big things (becoming a parent who doesn't yell) and small things (his homemade Halloween costume). I love this boy for that, and for all his energy and spunk. We are so much alike in many ways that we clash, but that clash is helping us both to soften our rough edges and to get on with what is really important in life.
And this little sweetie, with two tiny teeth. I adore her, too.
She has a little wave that just melts my heart. She lights up every room with her calm and happy presence. I love to hear her laugh and play with her big brother. She is a ticklish little copycat with lots of squishy baby rolls and curiosity that guides her under the futon, chairs and her crib. She is easy to make smile. When I hold her close, I can just feel the goodness of her spirit. She brings us all so much joy. Her sweetness constantly reminds me of how I need to be. I hope I can someday emulate the light, calmness and love she exudes. She's just gorgeous inside and out. And last night, she had her first solid night of sleep (8:30pm to 7:00am) since she was born . . . she's 8 1/2 months old. (Can you hear the chorus singing in the background?!) She also served as a reminder to me this morning that my floors desperately needed mopped, as her blouse went from cream to grey with a few minutes of her army-crawling around the house. This girl, right alongside her handsome big brother, is helping me and quite literally showing me how to become a better person.
This whole parenting deal challenges me in more ways than I could ever imagine it would have. It stirs up all my selfishness and imperfections up to be examined as if by scrutinizing light of a microscope. Oftentimes, I know the struggles I deal with with my little ones are a direct result of where I lack - in patience, selflessness, and kindness. Admitting that hurts. But, the more I learn to just submit to the process of refinement God has prepared for me, and see these beautiful children for who they truly are, I'm loving more, I'm living more, and I'm finding joy - greater joy than I could have ever imagined I could have. I thank God for lending me these little ones and for all that they are teaching me. Life is so good.