I’ll Be a Capable Parent When…
Today and yesterday I had a realization about the way I think about the future. I’ve always been someone who likes to plan ahead but I’m realizing that I’m looking towards some future time as the time that I’ll finally not only feel happy, but also be a capable parent who has a consistently strong relationship with my kids. There won’t be fights and I’ll never ever yell. Oh and my house could be the picture of a magazine except more warm and lived-in. Yes. That’s all going to happen if only I can get my act together now, make the right parenting choices now.
Hope. It’s an enormously powerful motivator. Hope that I’ve found the solution, hope that everything will turn out ok in the end. Hope that the present situation will change. But you know what’s even more powerful? Seeing the beauty in the moment. Receiving or giving a hug. Saying “yes, I’ll play that game with you.” Seeing two siblings play together, learning and exploring the marble run, working as a team. God is showing me ways to be in the moment that I hadn’t even realized I was missing out on.
Parenting is inherently a long-term proposition. Missie asked me the other day whether we’d need to go see the judge if we want to un-adopt her. We had a long talk trying to express that that doesn’t really happen, that the whole point of adoption is that it’s a forever plan. Forever. So of course we’re parenting with the long view in mind, knowing what types of qualities we’d like to see in our kids once they’re grown, and our gentle style of parenting is primarily with that end in mind. But if it’s only about the end, it becomes a lifeless journey. Spending more time intentionally loving on my children is giving me more joy in the moment as well. It’s opening my eyes to all the lovely things about them, and it allows me to marvel more at their growth and development.