A Bundle of Change

 

Ah, the changes of life. I am sitting on my front porch with my lap top computer busily working on a fitness blog. Well, I was until I started writing this. =) My bare feet are propped up on a weathered wooden table with chipped red paint (it’s called shabby chic right?), and the breeze is lazily blowing white fluffy clouds that resemble dragons, buffalo and Care Bears eastward as the sun casts shadows from the gigantic old elm tree that is dying slowly by the side of my house.

This is my life. I work from home, so I sit out here often, morning and evening, watching the leaves bounce with the breeze, the ice cream truck drive in a molasses like manner down the street playing a catchy tune I would rather forget, and my neighbor walking her small dog down the street in a baby carriage.

But there is something very different about my front porch time these days. I am no longer alone. There is a small, fuzzy-headed creature that hangs out with me, sometimes in a baby swing that plays tunes not unlike the ice cream truck, sometimes in one of the most creative and unique bouncers I’ve yet to see, and sometimes snuggled up to my chest in a sling or front pack carrier.

My daughter’s arrival into my world has been fun, challenging, joyful, messy, and downright wild and wacky. Many things have not changed all that much. My daughter has become my little add-on while going to church, hiking, shopping, wheeling, traveling, sitting on the front porch, working, and having lunch with friends. I still work out and straighten my house, get dressed and put on makeup. My husband and I still sit out until the wee hours – ok, well, until 11pm or so – drinking wine on the porch talking about our day after she is in bed.

But many things have changed significantly: not one place I go with her is without an extra 5 – 10 (and possibly more!) minutes to get there and twice as much stuff to take. I am awake at 3am most mornings, and can now get up and stay up at 6am, even though my husband will most often take her until seven. We walk softer on our creaky wooden floors, talk a lot about poop, and, as mentioned earlier, come in from our front porch time at 11pm instead of 1am. We come home from dinner with friends earlier than before, put our DVD player on a softer sound mode, don’t slam the back door, take more pictures than we thought humanly possible, are never found more than 2 feet from a shop towel (AKA, a burp cloth), know words like Bumbo, Boppy, and Snoogle, and compare schedules to see which of us can take her when a massage, bubble bath, or evening work is needed.

And, I don’t blog much for myself anymore.  Between my job and an ever growing and aware baby, writing for pleasure has become something I only reminisce about. Until now.

I recently read a blog post written by a friend, a fellow professional, work-from-home blogger and new mom that wrote a simple piece on her favorite things: baby items that she loved. Simple, short, perfect. My heart ached to write my own blog again.

And so, dear friends, my heart and soul, sweat-out, bled-out blog posts need to, at this time in my life, become short and simple, but always real. I don’t have time to proof-read them, I don’t have time to check grammar or punctuation. But then again, this isn’t for work, this is for me; I want to share my heart with you. I need to write.

I want to tell you about my baby’s birth story, how my sweet Friend and Lord showed me His righteous right hand holding, protecting and providing for me and my tiny love. I want to tell you how my perfect, sweet child can be a royal pain in my proverbial patootie. I want to share what I find that works for us, how and where I struggle, what makes me laugh, what God shows me, and the general fun, challenging, joyful, messy, and downright wild and wacky world I have been living in since my daughter’s arrival in it…and I want to hear from you! Come enjoy the fun, and tell me all about your journey too. Join me won’t you?

Curves and Curls: A Daughter’s Reflections on Raising A Girl

We chose to find out. My world was rocked and changed when the ultrasound showed proof that my tummy is home and haven to a 9oz little girl. A girl. Sugar and spice and everything nice. A girl. Bows and ribbons, curves and curls.

I drove directly from the office to the department store and bought a pink diaper bag. Her first pink thing. A girl. I am having a girl! As you may have caught, I am in awe.

A rush of emotions have surged through me since finding out our bundle of joy will come home in soft pink jammies. I must admit to having felt fear among the joy and excitement. Boys seem so easy to raise. Don’t all you have to do for boys is give them a stick and some rocks to play with and tell them to go break something? But a girl is fragile and precious, a creature with emotions that run deep, a heart that is gentle, and a face that makes you melt.

So I posed a question to those already raising daughters: how do you raise a girl? What advice could these daughter-raising forerunners afford me? I received many responses, nuggets and gems aplenty. I was inspired by the answers I was given. But then I posed another question, this one to daughters. I asked them to tell me what their parents did that made a positive impact on them; what was important to them as little girls. These answers were the truest, most raw and honest looks into a daughter’s heart. As I read them, my tears flowed openly.

I began to think of my own girlhood, and looked into the heart that was shaped by being my parents’ daughter. There I found what I was looking for. This is what I learned from my reflections:

I learned to always wrap a girl up in a blanket when she is frightened, hurt, or sick. Making her warm milk and honey is the next best thing, so I should do both.

I must teach her to search God’s Word for herself. This way her foundation will be built on truth, and she can stand unshaken even when her heroes fail and crumble.

I learned to allow her to wear shoes that I hate, but not skirts that I think are too short.

I want to tell her that dirty dishes were invented so mothers and daughters could talk. There isn’t a much better time to talk about anything.

I learned that her daddy should teach her to read a map, shoot straight, drive a stick shift, and paint a good edge.

I need to let her know that as long as she will be honest with me, I will never, ever take anyone else’s word above hers. When trust is broken, it needs rebuilt. It may take time, but it will happen.

I want her to know that thunderstorms and mountains may be God’s most magnificent creations.

I will teach her that her self-worth is founded on the very fact that her soul was bought by the blood of Christ.

I must tell her to seize every opportunity and that every moment counts, but even when she fails, the mercies of God are new every morning and they do not fail.

I want her to enjoy each stage of her lovely life, for her to know that the “real world” can be fun, and that while it presents its own challenges, she’ll be just fine when she gets there.

I will pray with her at the end of each day, and let her know that the Creator of heaven and earth shields her as she sleeps, and no evil in the dark can stand against her tonight.

I will passionately love her father, and I will tell her every day how much her daddy loves her.

I want her to love music, laugh too loud, enjoy food, and stand for truth no matter what the cost.

I want to teach her that boys should open doors, walk closest to the street on a sidewalk leaving her the inside, and always understand that no means no. If he doesn’t understand this, she should talk to her daddy; he will assist the boy in this understanding.

I want her to know that I do not care what career path she chooses, but when a woman decides to have children, that responsibility supersedes career. As far as it is up to her, she should never be satisfied to allow someone else to raise her child.

I wish for her to treasure memories above things, to treasure the photographs that capture those memories, but even more important, to treasure the people in those memories.

And above all, I want to train up a fierce and feminine warrior for the Kingdom of God, a champion of righteousness, a woman to storm the gates of hell and claim her corner of the world for her Lord…and she can do it all with curves and curls.