Sunday, January 22, 2012

"Please Mama, Please." Leilani Lesson 16

She talks. As in, I can sit down, look her in the face and say "Hey, let's talk." and we will sit there and have a conversation. Blows. My. Mind. We talk about her day,  and about the people that filled it, and about what she liked best. She talks, and she isn't even two yet! I feel like this is crazy and amazingly advanced.

But then I get major frazzled with the screaming incoherent demands for something and impatiently say "Leilani! Use you WORDS! Say PLEASE! Stop yelling, and fussing and demanding." (Gosh, Mama, she is not even two yet, give her a break.) But lately, she has been remembering she can talk. Usually, she forgets to say what she is asking for, so she stops crying, takes a breath and says "Please, Mama, Please Mama! Pleeeease."  We do eventually make it to what she is actually asking for.

This past month or so, I feel like she has been much more clingy than usual. She is fussy and wants to be held much more than before. This is probably largely the result of having a cough and cold that won't give up after a month, and not getting enough sleep, but also, she is a toddler. In the midst of becoming independent and "a beeeeig girl!" she is remembering that she is still little.

I think as I see more and more independence and maturity in her, I forget just how little she is. Impatience is one of my numerous character flaws, and the fussy, thrown to the floor, screaming whining explosions that descend out of thin air usually evoke a sharp "Oh my gosh Leilani. Use. Your. WORDS! Stop yelling at Mama!" Usually she demands to be held any time I try to make dinner, or clean or do anything that requires the use of both my hands. There is a lot of leg grabbing, falling on the floor, wailing and tears. I know that she wants me to hold her. But the screaming and crying and fussing... I feel frustration rise over all I am trying to do and "Oh my GOSH LEILANI YOU ARE OK!" and let it all distract me from what she is saying through her meltdown.

Then she uses her words, and asks as clearly as she can through her tears, "Mama, PLEASE, hold you. Mama Please HOLD you, ME!" Somehow, those words almost immediately smash through the haze of frustration and annoyance and break my heart.

"Mama, I need to be held so bad. It is the one thing that I need right now, bad enough to scream about. HOLD ME PLEASE! I need you to put both your arms around me, pick me up off the floor and tell me I am ok and that you love me. I may seem fine, but I am not in your arms, therefore, I am not fine. I need you to hold me close and hold me all the time. I need you Mama."

That is what she is saying. That is what she says to me every day, sometimes all day. I feel utterly humbled this week, confronted with my impatience in a way that melts me. I realize now, that this month, I have been doing a lot of the same thing to God. A lot of fussing, a lot of crying, a lot of not using my words and a lot of being needy. Never once has He snapped "RUTH YOU ARE OK! I am doing something important LET Me WORK!" He has always picked me up. I came first. I didn't even have to ask nicely, and He picked me up off the floor and held me close and told me He loved me and that I was ok.

She needs to always be first. The house can fall into unordered disarray, we can eat a lot of frozen pizza and beds can be left unmade, if it means that my arms are always where they need to be. Leilani needs to be "the important thing I am working on." Her little self IS my "important." She is the greatest masterpiece I could ever be privileged enough to be a part of shaping. Nothing else is as important as holding her when she asks, or even when she doesn't ask.

Lord, thank You this lesson this week. Thank You for holding me when I fuss and when I mope and when I cling at Your ankles. Thank You for picking me up, because I may seem fine, but You know I am not fine unless Your arms are around me. Forgive me for my impatience, and for not modeling Your love to my little girl. Teach me to love her as You love her. Expand my heart to love You more, more than I could ever understand or imagine. Amen.

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