My Imagination Girl



V has one of the most vivid & active imaginations I know.  I knew another little girl much like her who grew up & forgot to partake in imaginative play.  This little cutie reminds me to take hold of the moment & run with it.  No idea, thought, or possibility is ever idle.  Rather, it's saddled & roped up to ride. 

Currently she is loving Olivia the Pig, playing with puppets, asking me to tell her story after story, being inclusive in her play & pretending to do beauty shop makeover.  The list is actually quite endless, because she works on taming a new "wild horse" in her mind daily.


Dear Tay


Dear Tayers,

You might not completely realize this right now, but you drive me a bit bonkers at times, especially when daddy is gone for work in the evening & I get to play both roles.  Even more so, when it's bedtime & you kick into monkey gear times 10.  You have found every possible reason to get out of bed.

  1. "I need new friend!" Daddy: "it's in your bed." Tay: "oh! Okay!"
  2. "I need to go pee pees!!!"
  3. door opens, out comes stuffed animals
  4. "Mommy?!" Me: "Tay, you need to be in bed, what is it?" Tay: "See the piggies & the chickens?!"  Me: "Yes, later, now back to bed."

There are more than this.  Tonight you had the potty excuse, so I obliged.  You actually went.  Then, out you came again & mama's patience was running thin, which (insert raising voice) your first & middle name were only spoken.  This causing you to run to your room crying.  I went up to speak with you, calmed you down & said, "I love you Tay!" before leaving. 

Your words are what did it for me, and just about sent me over the a good way.  You replied, "I love you mommy!" And just as I was about to close the door you said, "I love you K-K-K-Kamille!"  Seriously kid!  You know how to land it to my heart & bring laughter to my soul (well that's until you got out of bed again). 

Chocolate Brown Eyes--please get the memo & go to sleep.



a.k.a. K-K-K-Kamille


Frere Jacques

It is quite evident when around our home that our Tayers is mighty-O singer.  If you mention the words "Twinkle Twinkle," she's quickly off & singing her heart out, and shortly awaiting praise & clapping for the job well done.  This is no less true for her new song. 

While asking me to read the little singing book of Frere Jacques around the 437th time, she decided she would have a go at it.  And let's just say, "amused" doesn't even begin to describe how she sings the song.  But what's even better is that V thinks the "way" Tay sings...ARE THE PRECISE WORDS.  So rather than let me tell you about it, you need to watch it (and yes, this will be shown at their weddings).


Tay's Debut

V's Debut


The Grit & Beauty Side of Parenting


***Disclaimer: This story is one of the "and they lived happily ever after" endings.  However, we have had whining, disobedience, & outright defiance occur since this "ending."  Our family, like yours is real.  It's raw, messy, & gritty.  It's not 5-star dining, but everyday battles & everyday meals.  My struggles to remain calm & not to shout don't always shine forth.  I've been humbled time and again as I ask forgiveness from a 2 1/2 & 4 year old.  That's life in community.

Our family is still going full steam ahead.  Ben & I got back from Florida a week and by Wednesday, he was on another plane to California.  This time without me.  On the whole it wasn't too bad; however, I did get to experience some rather not so appealing aspects of parenting without him.  You know, those, "seriously, you're four and your talking like a 16 year old." 

Luckily, my daughters are fortunate to have a mama who loves them too much for them to act & speak disrespectfully.  What would ensue would be some handy Love & Logic implementations, made available by some gracious friends answering my quick Facebook status update entitled, "Need a babysitter ASAP."  About 10 minutes later I'm getting a call from my friend.  Basically, the only effective consequence at that point in time was to remove my daughter from having a "babysitter." 

I knew it wouldn't be pretty. 

Picture holding a flailing/screaming child while trying to do a drop off.  Meanwhile, a runner literally stops & watches, and the little old Asian neighbor peers giving me the eye (as if my heart wasn't already melting).

I remember going to a Love & Logic conference long before my daughters were born, where the speaker said the key is locking in 'empathy.'  He said it's truly being sad when your child fails.  Now, if were being honest, there are times as a parent where I simply want justice (mercy is FAR from my mind).  I've been spent & empathy (although typically a strength) is superceded by my blood level drop. 

However, as I drove away, my eyes were welling up.  Even though I was upset with the choices my daughter made, I was more hurt by the choices she made for herself.  It wasn't about me (even though the disrespect was towards me).  It was about her choosing to walk away from my love.  But ultimately, choosing less of what God has for her.  I cried as we drove away because truly loving doesn't always look fine & tidy--it hurts sometimes.  As a mama, I'm called & required to love like that. 

The beauty comes in the morning. 

God's loyal love couldn't have run out,
   his merciful love couldn't have dried up.
They're created new every morning.
   How great your faithfulness!
I'm sticking with God (I say it over and over).
   He's all I've got left.

--Lamentations 3:22-24 (The Message)


As my heart hurt with what felt like one pelt after another of snowballs while I was down, I was reminded of God's great mercy & faithfulness.  Today, I'm also reminded of his reconciling heart.  He wants to reconcile all of us to him.  He wants to redeem the broken moments, journeys, relationships we encounter.  My relationship with my daughter has felt this & knows this reconciling love.

The following morning she began to choose disrespectful talk, and all said was (with no screaming, no lecturing), "Are you talking disrespectfully to mama?"  To which, she immediately checked her voice, stopped & said, "No, I'm sorry."  Her words were sweet like honey.  I suspect that we will continue to have confrontation & discord; but, I'm confident in the Lord's grace upon our relationship as well. 


Your turn: Share a story of living the grit & beauty of parenting and/or relationships.




To Sit Under the Tree


I'm convinced that if V were a boy she would make an ideal linebacker.  However, her sensitive soul and unwillinghness to hurt any living person, animal or bug, would most likely inhibit her to bull straight ahead.  

She reminds me of The Story of Ferdinand.  It is about a bull who is bigger than the other bulls and has potential to be the strongest & most famed of bulls to fight against the Matador. While all young bulls want this fame, it is Ferdinand who simply wants to sit under the tree and smell the flowers. 

What is even more powerful is Ferdinand's mother.  She doesn't coerce her son to play with the other bulls, or pressure him to become who everyone thinks he should become.  She doesn't look at her son's strength and think the only thing he is destined for is the ring.  She allows him to sit under the tree & smell the flowers, she doesn't consider this as wasting his potential. 

I cry when I read this book.  I see my little girl much like Ferdinand--taking time to sit & smell the flowers in life.

I often say that V is not trying to be defiant when you are calling her to come, or to hurry along.  She truly is that child dancing in the meadow with her head in the clouds, completely enraptured by it all that she really doesn't hear you.  

Having a little girl who is only four, but looks like she's six allows for others to think she should be in the ring.  Having a little girl who looks older and also has developmental delays makes for even more complications.  And as her mother, I wish I could say that I was more like Ferdinand's mother with such gentleness & acceptance.  Yet, I have often been like the crowd pushing her to become someone she's not; coercing her to fit my idea of whole

When I read this story I picture my little girl sitting under the tree & smelling the flowers without any shame.  She is able to be herself with complete abandon.  Resting in Heaven on Earth. 

But, I also picture myself being there.  Taking off the layers that the years have brought on.  The layers of guilt, regret & shame, in order for me to sit with comfort & ease.  Jesus came to make people whole.  Not just their physical bodies, but their mental/emotional/spiritual bodies.  I'm realizing this more & more as I look at my daughters.  The way I feel about them is the way God feels about me.  

Much like Ferdinand's mother with that gentle nudge to become who we were created to become.   


I linked this post at 'so much shouting, so much laughter,' please check out Suzannah's honest thoughts on life. 

so much shouting, so much  laughter