Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Thing About Discipline...

The thing about discipline is.....sometimes it keeps you from what you really want to be doing.  Things like reading the "just for fun, doesn't make you think too hard" book that you've been wanting to read for ages.  Or playing the cool, brand-new, still wrapped in plastic board game you received as a Christmas gift.  Or even writing a great blog post that actually contains something of substance.  

But, discipline can also pull you along into places you wouldn't otherwise have visited.  Places like the kitchen, late at night, where you laugh with your husband over the day's absurdities.  Or the laundry room for a quick check-in with your eldest, that turns into the best conversation you've had with her in weeks.  Or even the deserted living room of an early morning, where you cry out and praise and seek forgiveness in an extended, long-overdue, heart-to-heart with God.

Discipline might keep me from the things I want, but so far it is giving me something even better.  It's giving me the things I need.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Family Dynamics or 1+1+1= Chaos

Big D and I have been blessed with three great kiddos.  Sweet E is an eight year old who is the perfect mix of girly-girl and tomboy.  She loves her ballet classes and swoons over beautiful dresses, but she's also working on learning to use her brand new compound bow (with real arrows...yikes!) and her last birthday party was a fishing/explore the woods party.  Sweet E is a typical first-born; high-achieving and a people pleaser.  She keeps her emotions (excitement, fear, hurt, sadness, nervousness) close to her chest.

Middle E is an almost five year old boy who loves Legos, football, and anything and everything his daddy is doing.  He prefers to not get dirty or sticky.  He has just reached that "curious about how everything in the world works" phase, and he comes up with some amazing questions.  He is very dramatic, feels everything intensely, and has a very sensitive heart.  Those three things combined make him the polar opposite of his sister, and also make him a conundrum to Big D.  Middle E and I have a lot of long conversations and discussions.

Little E is a natural-born risk taker with the decision making skills of a two year old little boy.  He routinely does something that makes my heart freeze momentarily.  Climbing, jumping, running, running, running...he wears us all out.  He makes us all laugh a lot and is quick to give a hug or kiss.  Little E is a tough guy; he rarely cries, so if we hear him crying we know it is serious.  He has no clue that he is younger than his siblings.  If they are doing it, then he thinks he can do it, too.  He is tenacious and ornery and thinks his way is other words, he is two and he is all boy.

Three wonderful children.  Three very different personalities.  Three different sets of wants and needs.  That is the hard part of parenting for me.  Not the physical "make their meals, wash their clothes, pick-up their toys, help them bathe" work.  For me that is repetitive work doesn't require a lot of my brain power.  It just plain needs done.  The hard part for me is making my home be a place that is loving, supporting, and nurturing to three kids who need to be loved, supported, and nurtured in very different ways.  I'm working to figure out how to make my home a peaceful place when such opposites are in such close proximity all day long.  In the meantime, I love on them and teach them to respect their siblings' differences.  And for now, I think that works.