Thursday, October 15, 2009
Goal for the Day
My daughter is a river. She is whitewater and I am a canoe, struggling to stay upright. I can't let the speed, the turns, or the swirling caps of white foam drag me under. My daughter is two going on ten going on sixteen, twenty-one. And I am at a loss, hoping to stay afloat.

How does one tame the wild without squelching the spirit? How does one balance in chaos? And how can I navigate this relationship so that I won't wind up wild in the throes of this river myself?

Every motherly cliché reads before me now with perfect clarity. The collective words of wisdom of the ages: of stubborn, fearless, brilliant children; of the bedraggled parent, exasperation, sleepless nights, and mother’s guilt.

My goal for the day is to not let the current take me under. One day with no yelling. One day with enough time spent in quiet reflection and prayer that I won't feel overwhelmed when the plastic cup of apple juice hits the floor - or when the second one splatters across the table. Or when the pull-up that should be dry, is drenched. Or when the clamoring calls of Mama, Mama, Mama come when I'm just trying to have five minutes to myself behind the closed bathroom door. Or when she tells me flatly, with eyes glazed over and hands firmly stuffed into her armpits – I don't like you.

This is my goal.

My daughter might have different plans. Her plans will probably involve finding my make-up and hiding in the corner quietly so that I won't hear her as she spreads foundation over her cheeks, her neck, over the fine strands of her hair, clumping them together like mud. She will probably follow this with an acrobatic bath time that will leave the bathmat sopping wet and my nerves frayed. Sit. Down. Please.

At meals, she will probably test my will by refusing to pray before she eats. By crossing her arms and declaring that she does not like the X that's on her plate or the Y that I've poured into her glass. Both should be chocolate flavored or peppered with rainbow sprinkles.

But before all of this: I will pray. I will commit my ship, canoe, vessel, whatever the case may be, to the Lord and let him direct my path over this uncharted territory. I will have peace. I will have patience. Because this is a river he has forged, this is a life that he has breathed his spirit into.

And so am I.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautifully written. And from one mom to another, I can promise you...this too shall pass!

Blogger Skye said...

Lovely, Mella. I have such a daughter myself, so I do hear you! (Mine is nine now, and it still hasn't passed!! But I'm learning to deal with it better... on most days!)

Blogger Julie said...

So pretty and true and real. Thanks, Mella.

Blogger Owlhaven said...

Wonderful post. Thanks for sharing...

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