Monday, July 2, 2012

Zoo

If you have yet to see Matt Damon's We Bought A Zoo, you need to stop everything and go rent it. Right. Now. Seriously. It may not be the best movie ever made but it's incredible.

And it really broke this mom's heart.

The movie is based on a true story of what a dad and his kids do after the mom dies. Of course I cried- you know you will too just based on that premise right? Because, quite frankly, if the thought of what your family would go through if you died while your kids were young doesn't make you cry...well, I just don't know what to say to you.

That is exactly where my brain was through most of the movie. The kids (and dad) missed their mom. Desperately.

That really, really hit me hard because I've been feeling like a terrible mom lately (more details on that later). What struck me was that even if my mothering leaves room for improvement (which trust me, it does) I'm the only mommy Pumpkin Pie knows, so of course he would miss me.

And because he loves me so thoroughly, especially at only 20 months old, I should be living and loving as if each day could be my last. What's to say I won't get cancer or die unexpectedly in a car accident or fill in the blank.

This goes for the way I treat the husband too.

I can't wait until I feel like it to be nicer. Or more patient. Or more gentle.


"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." Galations 5:22-23

(Side note: I wasn't really sure what forbearance meant, check out what dictionary.com says- emphasis mine:
1. The act of forbearing; a refraining from something. 2) forbearing conduct or quality; patient endurance; self-control. 3. An abstaining from the enforcement of a right. 4) a creditor's giving of indulgence after the day originally fixed for payment.)

So here's the part where I've been failing as a mommy:

Pumpkin Pie is fully into what I would call the "terrible twos". And it's AWFUL. "Mine!" and "NO, I DO! I DO! I DO!" are constant companions these days. He intentionally disobeys and misbehaves. He is quite literally an exhausting nightmare to parent right now. Even the grandparents agree- THAT'S how bad it is.

And I've been treating him as such.

Think about that for a moment. How do you treat someone you don't want to be around? It's not always pretty is it? I've been short with him. Ignoring him. Distancing myself, literally and emotionally, from him. Not so much "Fruits of the Spirit".

And last night, watching We Bought a Zoo, something in me broke. Something prideful, selfish, and sinful.

I feel like I would be disappointed in myself if I were to die right now. This is not how I want to parent or be remembered by my child or husband. I don't want my baby to ever think I don't love him for a minute. And although I can fake it through my actions pretty well- I wonder if he's picking up on my attitude. My annoyance at how needy and clingy and hard  he is right now.

I've also read some really encouraging articles about how God gives us our children intentionally. WE are the parents they need- THEY are the children we need. So starting the minute the movie was over I've vowed to embrace the terrible twos. To not miss this phase by zoning out or passing him off. That's not to say I won't ever ask for grandma to babysit help. I'm just willing to make the sacrifices necessary to parent my child well through this phase. 


I know what I need to do. I need to "do" less. I need to turn off the computer and get down on the floor with him a lot more than I am. I have to give up even more of myself, for the moment, in order to meet my child's needs. And if those "things" are important enough to me, I might even have to *gasp* give up my sleep to fit them in. *Hangs head and cries a little* (If you're one of those annoying perky morning people you will not understand the depth of this sacrifice.)


I just hope someday, someone tells Pumpkin that his mommy loved him SO MUCH she gave up her warm cozy bed in order to (verb) love him better. Because this just might kill me. 

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