Sunday, April 27, 2014

To my children

Darin is gone for the night and I just tucked Tyson and Jori into our bed. They’ll fall asleep there and then I’ll move them into their own beds once I’m ready to sleep. Moving an almost 10 and almost 8 year old is a lot harder than carrying a toddler, but I am sure this mama can still handle it!

They were both reading for the last 30 minutes or so and I took some time to lie next to them. They were tired, so for once they were still and quiet. I was able to just watch them both, to really examine their faces.

Tyson Alan, my firstborn, turning 10 in less 2 months. When I look at his face, I can still see the little boy he once was, and still is some days. He still pokes his tongue out when he is concentrating, and his eyes quickly dart around, taking in information, not missing a thing. He looks over and catches me staring and gives me a little smile. That’s when I see his big front teeth and realize he is no longer 4, looking at picture books and trying to find the little ducky hidden on each page. He is growing up and I’ve missed so many moments. I realize that there have been many days, and even weeks that I have wished for time to go faster, especially when we are in a particularly rough patch and “growing out of it” seems like the only hope we have. Then his mouth closes, the evidence of his age is hidden once again. I stare at his profile; the little nose, thick lashes, his furrowed brow; and I see how young he is again, and promise to be more patient and gentle with this little soul.
June 2011, soon after arriving in South Africa

Jorin DiAnn, my second child, turning 8 two days after her big brother hits double digits. Earlier tonight she talked to Darin on the phone and she sounded so little, calling him daddy in her sweet voice and telling him about her day. She, too, now has big teeth crowding out the tiny pearl baby teeth and as I lay beside her I see the evidence of make-up on her eyes and lips. My little girl is growing up, even though I tell her to slow down and stay my baby girl forever. There are days that she agrees to this, and tells me she will never leave me and her daddy, and then there are days where she has the eye-rolling and foot stomping of a teenager down pat and I find myself wondering where my sweet daughter has disappeared to. Precious girl, with your button nose, your rosebud lips and the smattering of freckles across your face, don’t try to rush through this stage of life. Enjoy being a child, in love with your dollies and your daddy.
April 2014, on holiday with Papa and Gram
My precious gifts, I often feel so inadequate and unqualified to be your mother. I raise my voice, I order you to clean up messes and take down the laundry and I don’t thank you enough for the little and not so little things that you do. I take for granted that you’ll always be around, wanting to sit by me and read, needing me to help you sort through your Legos, reaching for me when you are hurt by the words and actions of someone you thought was a friend.


Dear God, help me to slow down and truly see my children, to hear their words both spoken and unspoken. Give me wisdom to teach them and courage to speak Your truth into their lives. Thank You for these two children, these blessings that You have given me. Keep me from hurting them with reckless words and careless actions. For the times when I will fail, help me to rest in the knowledge that You love them higher and deeper and stronger than I ever will and that Your grace covers us all. 

3 comments:

Debbie Warren said...

Beautifully said, Johnna!

Anonymous said...

You are becoming such a beautiful and talented writer my friend! WOW! Sometimes when I read your blogs I feel like I'm reading a book, which is truly amazing to me because I know I could never come up with any of those sentences. What a wonderful way to describe your children- I could especially relate to Jori's since that is exactly how I feel about Mollie right now too. Thank you for the reminder to cherish these moments with my kids while they are still little and still need their mommy. I know one day I will miss that terribly. Can't wait to see you and your wonderful kids this summer! Love you my friend. Tami

Anonymous said...

oh to hear their words and hearts spoken and unspoken... and for them to hear ours as well.. caden can be like a wall or a sieve... and yet he is a creation of the most high God and a gift to be treasured... i love you... keep loving your littles!!!xox laurie