Wednesday, April 27, 2011

4 going on 16

 A scary thing happened tonight.  A moment that stopped me dead in my tracks and nearly took my breath away.  Everyone said that life with two kids was harder than life with one was.  And I venture to say that our #2 is not quite as easy going as his sister was or maybe that's just hindsight talking (or four years of aging, who knows).  Thankfully, despite my concerns and the 4 1/2 years that Jillian spent as an only child, she has taken to big sisterhood with not apparent jealousy issues.


She is almost always willing to help out with her little brother.  She reads recites stories to him, sings him all kinds of original (made-up) songs, shooshes him when he's fussy, volunteers to feed him if ever there is a need, and even jumps at the opportunity to change his diapers.  But, she IS four and like her mother, appears to be in love with the sound of her own voice (and thinks everyone else should love it too).  It feels like she talks and asks questions incessantly (many of which she already knows the answer to) and with no concern whatsoever that her brother (or the dishes, or the laundry, or the grocery shopping) is also screaming vying for our attention.  Needless to say, this high level of over stimulation and a decent amount of sleep deprivation have been taking a pretty major toll on Kenton and I (probably more me than him as he was actually in attendance the day they taught patience in 'life school' and I was not).  Especially the last couple of weeks. 

It was a challenging moment like this tonight that reality took advantage of and slapped me right across the face.  Joshua was hungry and had been none to shy to let me know (as it should be.  He's only 8 weeks old for goodness sake).  As I sat on my bed, nursing my newborn son.  My 4 (going on 20) year old daughter who was talking up another annoying storm and was dressed like modern day popstar (as her father had pointed out earlier in the day).  She was staring out my bedroom window and something about the adhesive style earrings she had recently unearthed from her sticker box, the 'Daddy's Angel' t-shirt that's just a little bit too small & the baggy, hot pink fleece sweatpants that are 4 inches to long (not helped by how low they were sitting on her tilted hips in that moment) flashed my mind forward twelve years.  And for a moment, I saw her at 16 with attitude abounding and me wishing I was still looking into the eyes of my innocent, adorable, clever, spunky, energetic, beautiful 4-year old girl.


In that moment, I was convicted regarding the tone I too often take with her and the frustration that comes FAR too easily to my spirit these days when she is around.  I desperately want to treasure these moments with her more than I do because to the best I know, these moments DO NOT LAST.  I do not want to feel so pushed to the limit so often that all I do is curtly say her name with an ever apparent irkedness (like that?) in my voice.  I'm not sure how I'm going to get there but I'm sure it has to be one moment, one hour, one day at a time.  And hopefully, this brief glimpse into the future that I had tonight, will alter my perspective just enough to not snap at her the next time when all she wants in the world is my attention . . . and a new pet shop friend.  ;-)

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