Life has been more busy than usual this past week – kids home from school for mid-winter break, school projects up the yin yang to work on, Randy getting sick and ending up in the urgent care – but I would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to remember our Valentine month. After all, years down the road, I will be glad I wrote down these memories.
We started off the month of February by making some yummy peanut butter cookies with heart shaped chocolates on them.
The night before Valentine’s Day Randy surprised me with flowers. He knows it is hard to surprise me so he caught me off guard by giving them to me early. They brightened up my kitchen for over a week!
The kids woke up to a little Valentine love which was waiting for them on the breakfast counter. (Years ago I gave them a stuffed animal for a couple of different holidays, and now it has become tradition. They adore their stuffed animals so it is a win-win for all involved.)
Ari in red celebrating his first Valentine’s Day … though this picture was taken a few days after the holiday. What do you expect when you are on your fourth child ?!?
Here is the card Keri gave Randy and I for Valentine’s Day.
I love how she also remembers to give of herself on holidays and doesn’t always expect things. The thing that touched me the most about her card was when she wrote:
“I’ll love you always and forever, no matter what you do
or where you are.”
That had a significant impact on me because I had some rough mothering days in February. I have not been on my game, especially when it comes to patience. Being exhausted and in constant pain brings out the grumps and crankiness in me – I have been rather sleep deprived for several weeks now [Ari used to sleep much better at night, but lately he has been up at least every 4 hours, probably due to teething and having yet another cold and horrible cough] and my back has been bothering me for nearly a month [but yes, I am seeking help from a good chiropractor - it is just hard to heal when you have a giant baby to carry around].
After one really long afternoon, in the middle of my witching hours, I lost it and got rather mad and irritated at all the kids and let them know it in my loud yelly voice. Later while I was apologizing to Keri for getting so upset, I told her not to grow up and become like me – bitter and cantankerous are the words I think I used. So the fact that she told me she would love me “no matter what” pulled on my heart strings.
I am grateful that our children can be so forgiving towards us parents. After all, I think parenting is one of the hardest challenges a person can endure … well worth it, though, and very rewarding, but still incredibly difficult.
And my sweet Cory also shined through this month for me.
Last Thursday he and I were negotiating about what pants would be appropriate for him to wear on his play date (his old holey jeans, his warm outside wind and water resistant pants, his brand new jeans, etc.). After some frustration on both our parts, I left his room deciding it really didn’t matter. A few minutes later, though, he came and found me.
With humility evident in his eyes and a meek and contrite spirit, he softly said, “I want to make you happy.” He was dressed in the pants he thought *I* wanted him to wear. Talk about a melt your heart moment. It definitely makes me rethink some of the things we battle over.
This parenting thing is definitely a hard gig, especially when you feel clueless and helpless at times and don’t know how to best help or reach your child.
It is also most definitely a humbling experience.
But I am grateful I have the chance to raise these four precious children of mine with the love of my life and with the guidance and expertise of the Lord.