Me – somewhere around 25 years old.
“Well, babies are cute, I think I want one.”
They were so cuddly and came with the cutest accessories, which to me were all the Winnie the Pooh stuff I could find (I love Winnie the Pooh).
There were Pooh high chairs, diaper bags, and Winnie-themed bottle washers.
(Although, since I was planning to breastfeed and knew nothing about bottles, I nearly coughed up the green punch in my shower when I opened a packet of these little nipple washes.)
I couldn’t wait to glamorize my baby girl in ruffles and glue bows to her curls. I often wrote her name in beautiful cursive letters – Hannah Elizabeth or Gracie Rose.
I understood everything about parenthood. Discipline – child’s play! I read books. I knew what to do.
With consistency and a slap on the ass if needed, the folks at Walmart would marvel at the well-behaved children. “Wow. This mom has it all under control.
Turns out we were often a wonder at Walmart as Logan walked through the freezer section in his Buzz Lightyear underwear while I chased after him waving his clothes in the air. “Wow. This mom has no control.
I really thought I knew what to expect.
When Shawn finally got on board, he was hoping for a boy who would share his love of his ’69 Mustang in the garage.
From the moment each boy was born, Shawn’s baby talk consisted of car care instructions and special suits declaring, “My other stroller is a Mustang.”
And no – cars and garages aren’t just for boys – but Shawn wanted a buddy, and I was looking for something to cuddle and dress up.
Essentially, we both saw parenthood as the path to fulfillment. Because these handsome boys were cuddly and, even without the ruffles and bows, they were so much fun to dress up.
Still, I struggled with happiness as a young mother. I just wanted to declare myself inadequate.
“I don’t make him happy. He doesn’t make me happy. We both cry. Something is wrong here.”
The early days of motherhood were not my glory days. Sleepless nights. The whims of Walmart. Bottle-feeding guilt (I had trouble breastfeeding).
I loved my babies and would have died for them, but I find my connection is much deeper with them as older children who I can easily relate to.
Funny, however. Parenthood is nothing like what we expected. Shawn and I suddenly have these hot-blooded, strong-willed kids who have their own interests and life goals, and it’s just fun to watch them become what God made them.
They are real four-dimensional people, whom God created with their own plans. We are so lucky to be part of this, whether it makes sense to us or not.
Shawn has no interest in the band, but he sees Connor’s love for him, so he supports every creak of that clarinet. Then they go out to the garage to fix that old ’59 Fairlane that sits next to the Mustang.
Turns out parenthood wasn’t for us. It’s for them. Above all, it is for God. And it’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever done.
As they grow and their interests shine, we constantly remind them that what they are comes directly from God and that they must do everything for him.
And He rewards. We are not perfect. Come visit the chaos of a Monday morning when Logan suddenly remembers that he left his only shoes in the creek two minutes before it was time to leave.
Or when “shotgun!” is called out.
But Connor loves that Ford symbol and polishing a car on a hot day, just like his dad. And Logan loves to sit down and tell a story over ice cream with his mom.
Somehow, as a family, we follow the individual paths of God as we walk together and encourage one another.
And it really is so special.