I am not really into parenting comparisons and the ‘my child does this and my child does that’ kind of stuff, BUT so many of you on the other side of the world email and ask about our sweet Alayna. This is for you.
Alayna was just 4 months old; Gary and I were sitting in a park processing a meeting we had just had about moving to Bolivia. Feeling slightly over whelmed, tears were running down my cheek and Gary was staring into space.
A stranger walking along the path observed us from a distance, and then stopped in front of us. I looked away. I really had no desire to make small talk with a stranger.
The awkward silence of her just standing there made me turn my head to look at her. She looked straight into my eyes (more like my soul), then said, “That precious child is an angel sent to you from heaven. She will be your joy in the many dark days ahead of you.”
My mouth dry, unable to open it, she walked away before either of us could say anything….
Our miss Alayna May was due April 26th but waited to be born on May 2, the day of my mothers birthday.
Although she never got the privilege of meeting my parents, if you ask her about her grandparents she will be sure to tell you that grandma and grandpa live in Canada and grozmama and grozpapa live in heaven.
Miss May says, “Please, thank you and yes momma.” But she also says, “pissed off and what the dickens” (yes I know, my fault).
She says, “I love you momma, you’re my best friend.” But she also says, “you make me so angry momma, I just don’t get it!” (With her hands on her hip).
I hardly ever have to count to three anymore, she knows at one what comes after three.
Yes we are ‘those’ kind of parents. We believe in punishments. Actually, before we had Alayna I said the famous words too, “I will never.” Um well, she wasn’t even two yet and I saw a mini me and knew what I had needed to become half human. It was either that or well….. Watch out world.
I actually regularly get the ‘oh my goodness you are a super strict parent’ look.
Here is the thing, we expect Alayna to listen the first time around. We learnt the hard way.
She had just started walking and I said, “Alayna don’t step off of that curb onto the road.” She didn’t listen, a car came and well it was a split second moment. That moment I realized that I needed her to listen on first command at ALL TIMES. And that would mean consistency.
Parenting is by far one of the hardest things I have ever done. I know, we only have one, but there are days where I feel so, so ill equipped.
Just when I get confident about this parenting thing, she acts like a 3 year old and pulls out really mischievous acts that need attention. (Yes, keeps me humble)…
Thanks to some wise counsel from senior parents who went before us and shared their techniques, we made some concrete rules to our punishments and miss May blew me away the other day when given options.
She had done something in public that needed addressing and I gave her options like we always do.
Options 1: Punishment and cuddles after
Option 2: No cuddles (that could be her punishment)
I kid you not, this kid choose option 1.
I was tired and really, really hoped she would choose option 2, that would have been so much easier for me. But no, now I had to do the WHOLE rig a ma roll…. Talk through the issue, punishment followed by prayers and then cuddles…. At least a 30-minute ordeal.
That moment I knew, the joy of cuddle time surpassed the fear of punishments.
Thank you Jesus, I needed that and you knew.
When I take the time to stop and REALLY take in all miss May is, I see my sweet momma. Yes she is an angel sent to us for the many dark days. Alayna’s birthday and the lady in the park were no coincidence.
Living what I live, when I pray, “Jesus, here is your child; make her, shape her and break her as you see fit.” I feel her heart when she then says, “Momma, I don’t want Jesus to break me.” My sweet child, it is going to hurt but He will break you into pure perfection.
Looking at my life and seeing the wisdom of that sweet 3 year old, I know my God has great plans for her and He has chosen us as a tool to prepare her.
That I cannot take lightly.
Our sweet Alayna May is just 3 years old and remembers Bible passages after hearing them once. She loves to sing and dance and does it with passion. She is the first to come wipe your tears (literally, gets a tissue and wipes the tears rolling down your cheeks). She loves hugs and easily says, “I’m sorry, I’ll try to not do that again.”
She will grow up saying please, thank you and probably a few other words she’ll hear come out of my mouth.
But most importantly, she’ll grow up knowing about grace, love and forgiveness.
Our goal is not to raise her to be like other children, but to raise her armed and ready to win the race set before her….
Preparing for battle was never easy, and a battle we know it will be.
Thank you sweet Alayna for being our angel, we love you to the moon and back!!
What are you preparing your child for?
Until next time,
PS – Each one of our children has their own unique journey ahead of them. Do yourself and them a favor and stop comparing. Stop trying to prepare your child for someone else’s journey. Trust me, it’ll take off a load of stress and you might actually enjoy parenting. (Yes, I’m talking to myself here too).
PSS (or is it PPS, I have no idea. Guess I should Google it, meh either will do) – A HUGE credit has to go out to the most amazing Daddy anyone could ever ask for. Alayna is the child she is because her sweet papa spends hours with her, teaching her Bible passages, reading her stories, doing puzzles, just to name a few. Gary I couldn’t do it without you. Thanks for raising HIS daughter and for being her prince. We love you!