it is eight o'clock in the morning and my daughters just came in from an "extended" vacation to their aunts house. now i have been very concious of being a bit more gentle with my oldest daughter, who has a slight learning disability i believe (i am also trying to get her tested, but that is proving to be VERY difficult, even with her regular pediatricians!). i have been praying over this, because i want to be remembered by my children as being a good mother, not a horrible one. sometimes it is SO difficult though when i have to repeat things to her five times in a row, or when she deliberately disobeys me simply because she doesn't want to be bothered, or when i hear her sucking in her breath and muttering little smart phrases under her tongue. she is eight years old and i am just NOT having that. and the physical absence of their dad proves to be even more difficult, as he is very gentle with the kids but stern and they follow his command like a sunflower turning to the sun. i can admit that i have been getting better with her but not better enough, and it is my fear that she will grow up thinking i love her sisters more than her. so as i mentioned, i have been more concious about this effort and i have been paying my own emotional responses to her alot more attention.
this morning they came home from their extended vacation, my eight year old banging on the door so hard she scared me and my six year old frowned up because she wanted to stay with her aunt for one more day. so i went to open the door and i DID snap, "d WHY are you banging on the door like that?!" to which she just sat there, angry and the look of sleep clouding her face. talk about a thunder cloud over the head. so for the next twenty minutes, i fussed with her because she wanted to go to school but didn't want to bathe, wanted to go to school but didn't want to eat breakfast, wanted to go to school but didn't want to put on the proper shoes.
finally, something happened. God knows my heart, so i suppose He just came on down and intervened. right before she left for school, both of our attitudes changed. i told her that i loved her, and she smiled a bright smile. she went down and ate breakfast and came back up, washed her face without having to be told, and straightened herself out for me to see. usually the huge water stain on the middle of her shirt would have bugged me, but today, it didn't matter. it's 98 degrees outside -- the stain would dry in no time. i was at peace with my baby girl, and with myself. as we drove her and the smallest baby to school (my middle baby has a day off to spend at home and with me), my heart was smiling. d jumped out the car, and i called, "i love you!" to her...she turned and smiled back and ran off to catch up with her friends.
for now, i AM playing mom and dad, in many instances, and it's very hard. but i love my kids with all my heart, and they are worth every drop of blood, sweat, and tears that seem to be sucked from me at every waking chance. i'm just trying to be a better mother and person...day by day. today, God has forgiven me for what i did wrong as a mother yesterday and the day before, and let me know that i'm not the worst mom to grace the earth, not at all.