“I really don’t like you.” Those brown eyes stared at me. So much like my own, they were darkened with the anger and frustration at the moment. I tried to keep my voice as calm as my gaze back into the eyes have grown to be almost even with my own. My heart trembled a bit though. “That’s okay,” I said. “You don’t have to.”
Moments like this catch me unaware. Almost like motherhood. I was still so newly married I was homesick. The little puppy brought home weeks before from the shelter to keep me company for the two years we planned to wait before starting a family. God has a since of humor. I stared at those two lines with eyes filled with tears and a heart filled with joy. What I had been told would be difficult if not impossible was happening. Plans changed. I instead of enrolling in my sophomore semester of college, we enrolled in childbirth classes.
Two dark eyed babies were born before a round of secondary infertility. Pain I never knew could be so deep, but changed how I would parent forever.
As I stared into the eyes of my growing child, I recalled being that age. The frustration, the anger, the fear, the sadness, the confusion, the desire for independence growing deep in my soul. So sure I would do things differently. So sure that my parents were the meanest, most unfair parents in the history of the universe.
Of course, they weren’t. And I, well, as a tween I was quite a brat. (Sorry Mom and Dad…again.) Although my parenting is different from my parent’s parenting, I see glimpses of my heritage daily.
Tonight, it was the sweet moments of patting Ellie’s back as she went to sleep. As she laid in her bed trying to fall asleep, I patted her back. And patted her back. And patted her back.
And as I did, a sweet memory came to mind of a drive home from church. There had been a special event in the evening. Our van that seated 7 was holding 9 because my great-grandfather had gone with us that evening. So I sat – or rather laid- on Mom’s lap. She gently patted my back the whole 20 minute drive home from church.
It’s funny the things that sneak up and remind me to stay the course. Hopefully my kids will parent differently and better than I have. Maybe some long day away - late in the evening, they will be patting the back of their child and find themselves cherishing a childhood memory.