Friday, August 17, 2012

Don't rock the boat.

(*Note: We normally read this little blog to our children. Just a warning, you may not want to read parts of this post aloud to your children.*)

We were standing in line, waiting for our life jackets and oars, when a well meaning employee looked at Bryan and I, and our three children, and observed "I bet you're ready for school to start". 

This brief comment has been on my heart all day. And it makes me so sad. Why? Why would we be ready for school to start? These children can be noisy and disobedient, and they cry and make messes, and get in our way, and interrupt our conversations, but what does that mean? Are they a bother? Are they a disruption to our own personal plans? Do they get in the way of what we really want?

Those three little humans are constantly learning about who they are, by how I treat them. Do they know that they are important in our family? Do they know that they are special, and loved? Do I want them with me while I go about my daily life? Do I include them in my activities, whether it is cooking, or cleaning, or taking pictures, or doing laundry? Do I make an effort to teach them all throughout the day, while I know it is fastest to do it myself, but understanding that they thrive on learning new things, and feel proud when they accomplish small tasks? Do I listen to their silly stories and really look at them when they speak? Do I answer the same question over and over without rolling my eyes? Do I clap and praise them every time they say "look mom, look what I can do"? Do I treat them as if they are a bother, or an annoyance? Do I really make those little children a true priority? Am I too busy to sit and play with them? And too busy doing what? Do I raise my voice and discipline in anger? Do I ever look at them with eyes that convey "I just don't like you" or "what are you thinking, are you stupid"? Oh, these are hard questions to answer honestly.

Yesterday, we spent the day at Wekiva Falls Resort, which is a campground around a natural spring. (There is not much "resort" ish about it.) We started out with a two hour canoe trip on the Wekiva River. It was Lilly's first canoe ride, and between her and Grady, Bryan had his hands full. Bella and I patiently waited for all of them to get into their boat (and to stop freaking out), and took pictures of each other while we waited.

And we're off!

We stopped after an hour and had a picnic lunch. By then Grady and Lilly had relaxed, and were having a fun time.

Bella's self photo.

After we returned the canoes, we went swimming in the spring. It was chilly in some areas, but overall really nice. There was a beachy area, and warm shallow spots, and deep freezing cold areas (that I avoided at all costs).

This parenting thing is not always easy. I make mistakes, and behave in ways that I am not proud of. There are many times that I need to reflect back on what I want to do as a parent, and what I don't want to do. Time is fleeting, and while I have the attention of my children, I need to make it count. While they still think my opinion is the most important, I need to make sure they know that I want to be with them, and that I think they are so cool.


  1. You are the best kind of Mommy. Happy Mother's Day, Amy, in August, just because you deserve it.

  2. I too get comments like that... Even while we were in the hospital. If only they knew how badly I wanted to be home with my boys.