Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A little Grace for Valentine's Day

February 14, 2006
I stare at this picture and I am able to transport myself back to this very moment.  It is after nap time and we are just playing on the living room floor.  You are both dressed in your Valentine's t-shirts that said something about being Dad's Superstar.  I think you both knew the day was special, even then.  Or maybe it was because I was just in a really good mood so it just spread to you.  Either way, it was just so easy.   
When you were both little there wasn't a lot of expectations.  I could cut up some bananas and give you some goldfish and you would mindlessly snack.  A notebook with a pen from my purse could keep you busy for 20 minutes.  I started to be able to predict your needs - and I could meet them. 
Fast forward 8 years.
I am pretty sure one of you doesn't like goldfish but I can never keep it straight.  Audrey is learning about segregation, Pearl Harbor, and Colonization but has to debate why she needs a shower at least every 48 hours.  Carissa has had a tooth hanging by a thread for over a month but is subtracting three digit numbers and creating her own math story problems for fun.
We talk... A LOT.  And sometimes it is not so easy anymore.

I have stopped trying to anticipate needs.  Now, with the two of you, I just never know.
It is Valentine's week and, true to form, there is love in the air.  Secret cards and presents are being constructed.  Pink and red are the colors of choice and I have been awestruck by one simple thing.
The thing that made it so easy 8 years ago was I had no expectations.  You were babies and perfect and beautiful.  You were pure joy.  Somewhere along the lines I decided you needed to go, to do and be, to learn and reflect.  Shame on me. 
I have come to the conclusion that you will do all those things regardless if I push you.  I think you are both still SO beautiful and you are my JOY. 
So this Valentine's day I am offering GRACE to my girls. I am setting aside expectations and letting you be 10 and 7.  (The only thing I will predicting is your eye roll.)
 Happy Valentine's Day.
Love, Mom