Saturday, July 12, 2008
Happy and loved and a giver is born
On Monday I wrote about my goal to find parenting perfection in small, individual moments rather than an entire week of living like a modern-day embodiment of Mary Poppins, Olivia Walton and Maria von Trapp.
By Wednesday I had come up with nothing, and was a bit confused. My sincerity was genuine, but my progress was, well, nonexistent. And then finally last night I was blessed with a perfect moment. I was putting our youngest son to bed.
He gave me the routine hug and kiss, then kissed me a few extra times, and said, "Remember when I was little and I never wanted you to leave? I'd keep kissing and kissing you, and holding onto you..." and I said, "Mm-hm, and do you remember which songs I used to sing to you?"
He remembered: Away In A Manger and Silent Night...every night...because after "round yon virgin" it says, "mother and child." He loved that phrase. He'd ask for it night after night, and squeeze my hand or turn and give me a cherubic wink whenever I got to "mother and child."
"Yeah, he said, and you would always tickle my back.... Hey, speaking of "tickling my back...." "Do you want me to tickle your back tonight?"
(big grin) "Yeah, will you?"
"Sure. Which song do you want me to sing?"
"Could you tell me a story?" (I'm resisting a comment on the quality of my singing here.) :)
"Sure, I guess. Which story would you like to hear? The one about Cozette?"
"I want you to make one up." Great. I am not a very creative storyteller. I was tempted to tell him a true one my dad told me. But I promised him I'd make one up. And so I did.
Somehow it turned into a pretty involved fairy tale/fable about sacrifice. As the story ended the look on his face was truly magical. He just glowed! He told me it was the best story he's ever heard. But what matters most is that our 8-year-old son went to sleep happy and loved, and wrapped in the Spirit.
Then there was a little follow-up moment this morning. Over breakfast he was telling his dad how much money he'd earned, saved, and spent, and Jeff asked him if he'd remembered to pay his tithing. All of a sudden he looked like a deer in the headlights. He also looked a bit reluctant to put any of that precious saved portion toward tithing.
But then I whispered to him, "That's kind of what your story was about last night, wasn't it?" He nodded and smiled, and it looked like a light went on and a cheerful giver was born.
So I'm trying to put aside the time I heard myself shriek across the yard to tell my daughter to be patient (dripping with irony, I know), the pans that are still downstairs soaking in the sink, our youngest calling me a hypocrite (I didn't think he even knew the word ... at first I thought he said Hippogriff!) and the myriad other moments I'm not proud of, and rejoice in the fact that so far this week I have one and a half perfect moments.