This week I am linking-up with some friends in my (in)motherhood group sharing a small view of what motherhood is for us right now. The topic is Motherhood in the trenches.
From a few moments in our kitchen last week…
At lunch time, 2 of my little ones squabble over who will sit on the tall black stool pulled up to the island in the kitchen. I am at the stove glancing over my shoulder to spit out words of caution if they continue to fight over the stools. I do not remember much of what I said. Only empty phrases tossed over my shoulder, not really aimed or focused at anyone specific. But, the fighting stopped and they were quiet long enough for me to hear a sniff of what I recognize as the beginning of a genuine cry from my 4-year-old.
“What’s wrong, Alani?” She is perched on a stool near the kitchen island. Her legs dangle, one with a pink sock and a gold sparkle shoe, the other with only a pink sock. She wipes her eyes and begins to explain. The corners of her mouth keeps turning down making the little wrinkle in her chin as she tries to speak.
“I don’t want to grow up, mama.” As she begins to sob, I try to remember what I could have said to bring on such a meltdown.
“What do you mean?” I ask, trying to connect the dots between a 4 year-olds mind and my lose words, the ones I cannot take back.
“Well,” she starts in, wiping her eyes. “You said when I grow up I can sit where I want, but I don’t want to grow up and get big. I want to be your little girl forever.”
And there it was… “a moment to remember”. You know the ones I mean, the ones old folks stop you in the grocery store to warn you about. The moments they say you will look back on and wish you had them to do over again. My little beauty, teary eyed, hair topsy-turvy and shoved back with a headband. She wipes her face. How could I ever bruise her with my words?
Right now, in the trenches of motherhood, I am convicted of my lose tongue. Sure, I could not have anticipated the melt-down about growing up, but it was a wake up call for me. Like something blowing up and shaking loose the dirt around me so I can see how important it is to be deliberate in my speech. Being intentional is not ‘optional’ for motherhood it is necessary. These little ones are not my peers or my roommates. They are my children who need to be spoken to with purpose. I need to be careful not to pass out empty words, but words full of encouragement and affirmation.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad.