I find it really hard to parent my daughter Naomi.
She is a wonderful person much of the time, in many ways. She has talents in various areas and and is a faithful friend. She can be sweet and kind to her brothers and other smaller children. She can be very helpful around the house. I especially admire the way she sings whenever she has a job to do -- she can be very cheerful!
But there are some characteristics of hers that I really struggle with. I know that sometimes I should simply lower my expectations and remember that she's only 7. Other times, I should be more pro-active and look for ways to truly address her problems instead of waiting 'til I'm reacting like a volcano. And all the time, I should be praying for her, something I've sadly neglected.
I bought a book a few years ago called "Just Mom and Me Having Tea" that has Bible studies, activities and question/answer ideas for moms to do with their daughters. I'd like to set aside time to spend with Naomi regularly to go through this book and hopefully build up a better relationship. Maybe doing that first will give me a more positive outlook, in preparation for the more difficult issues.
I pray that God will help me be a better mom. I can not do this job well on my own.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Friends gave Naomi and me a ride in their car to choir practice yesterday. On the way, I was able to listen to the mom converse with her 4-year-old (just turned 4 a month ago). I marvelled at the normal dialogue, which for me has become something longed for in the unknown future.
Later that night, my recollections of the give-and-take, the detailed words, and the easy understanding, caused tears to run down my cheeks. It made me keenly aware of what I'm missing in my relationship with Ethan.
I've grown accustomed to how Ethan communicates. I consider myself the expert at understanding him (though perhaps rivaled by his siblings!), and I don't think twice about my methods of asking follow-up questions, watching his signs carefully, and using context. We generally get along fine, though there are frustrating moments. Speech therapy is helping, and I notice continual growth.
But every time I hear a child with normal speech development interact with his parent, I catch my breath, realizing again how different Ethan is. And I wonder ... what thoughts of his am I missing? What observations is he making that he can not explain to us? What intelligence is lurking in him that we are not privy to?
God, grant me patience and determination, as I hope and long for the day when I can talk with my son about anything, no matter how abstract. Wipe my tears, as I miss these moments now, and Lord, please, please help him speak.