Parenting is riddled with doubt, with fear, with mistakes. Seriously. On the other hand, we have seasons of fun, of connection, of growth, hope renewed and perfect peace. And those wonderful seasons are just as real as the other challenging ones.
Just like I don’t worry about pride anymore. I used to as a student, when I would get a perfect score, immediately after I would get a failing grade, or barely passing. Pride comes before the fall. This year something shifted. like I got some sort of immunity to pride. Even when embarrassing, failing circumstances occur, I take them at face value as part of the journey and don’t connect them to the succes a moment earlier. The ups and downs of parenting are not predictable. The moods are what they are. The way we respond to failure or success makes all the difference. I strive to walk with poise, with peace, with grace, and love well.
In Barcelona I laughed and delighted in every moment, even when Conrad was grumpy, even when Jackie was moody. Ivy took everything in with great delight, like there was no tomorrow and everything was great just for her.
At a coffee shop our server was friendly, with a low almost raspy voice, memorable, pleasant. She was wearing a pink Pantone t-shirt and her nails were done. Her hair was very dark and straight and she was wearing a mask. Her English was good and she had a pleasant Spanish accent. It was early in the day. Barely 9 AM. Conrad wanted to try their specialty coffee. And it was a lovely visit. Ivy turns to me with a broad smile and says: “she could be my mom”. “Why do you think so?” – I ask. “She’s nice” ivy responds matter of factly. Jackie, who nearly lost her voice from breathing through her mouth all night turns to ivy and says: “she is nice, but just so you know, if she was your mom she would also scold you if you need a scolding.”
I know what ivy said should affect me somehow, but this is a golden age of honesty and unfiltered thoughts. I don’t take things personally and by God’s grace I have spared myself a lot of grief. The conversation continued though. I told ivy I understand why she would say that. She has vague memories of her biological mom, and clear memories of her foster mom. I am the third woman she calls mom, and she embraced me wholeheartedly. The fact that I never imagined how it would be to have another mom, it doesn’t mean she can’t or won’t wonder how it would be like to be part of another family. Letting her process things out-loud is the best I can do. Helping her process with wisdom, warmth, questions, motherly intuition. May I never lose heart or clarity. I pray for wisdom more often than I pray for my daily bread. And God is faithful.