Photo courtesy of Twinkle Photo
So often a gift comes with a challenge. How I wish it didn’t. Pregnancy comes with its pains (and of course the inevitable labor at the end). But that is the least of the challenges before us as parents. For each one of these little souls entrusted to our care, is also a source of some of life’s greatest frustrations and biggest difficulties. (At least in my parenting experience) My daughter is articulate, and creative with a phenomenal memory. But she remembers EVERYTHING and her logic is still a bit lacking. She also has a will that would put most CEO’s to shame. (Her nickname as a toddler was the littlest despot).
My son can be charming and sweet, which he tries to use to manipulate out of trouble he is often in because he is three and chaos is his middle name. I look at these creatures, these little gifts and I try to be grateful. I prayed and cried for these ones. I bled for them, I still work and fear for them. Yet, it’s easy to miss the blessing within the challenge. Sometimes I want to pray “God why did you give me ones like this?” especially when I see little children walking calmly though stores holding a parent’s hand or siblings playing contentedly together without destroying the house or maiming each other.
This third (and likely final) pregnancy has been an unexpected challenge this time around. From severe morning sickness that lasted all day to fatigue that I still can’t seem to shake midway through the second trimester. I try to remind myself of those moments in the first trimester when we thought we might lose this pregnancy and the feelings of desperation and fear. On the days when I have barely enough energy to keep the two I have alive (something which for some reason, people feel the need to point out to me. As in “Wow, why would you want another one when you are having so much trouble with the ones you have?” Because I don’t have enough doubts of my own, thank you for your support) I feel the questions of how this one will be. But I know. He will be a challenge. He may have a different personality, but all children present challenges in one way or another. It’s just the nature of family and parenting.
There is nothing easy about guiding and shaping hearts and lives and I don’t think it was meant to be. I can lament the ones I’ve been given and wish for something different. Or I can embrace the beauty and wonder of who they are, amid the chaos and challenge.
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