Everybody knows how to raise children, except the people who have them.
So true. I have run into this issue many times. My youth makes me susceptible to people who think I haven’t a clue as to how to raise children. This is far from the truth. I have taken care of children since I was a kid. You are never an expert, but I am far from a newbie. I at least know that there are certain rules I will enforce, such as making the kids eat their veggies before dessert or playtime. You may disagree, but I am a parent to my three children, and during a time in which 1/7 of kids are starving, I refuse to let them waste food. I have never force-fed them or anything of the sort, but I do let them know that they need to finish their dinner. I also do not allow them to have caffeine, soft drinks, high fructose corn syrup, or large amounts of sugar. People say that I am mean and not fun, but that is not my job; I am their mother, not friend. I discipline them as I see fit, and I make them do things they may not like but are good for them. They have to put away their toys when they don’t want to, as well as nap when they are scheduled to. Yes, they are children, no, they should not grow up too quickly; however, they will learn personal responsibility. Parents are not perfect. I will always do my best for my kids. I will never do what I see as harmful. I will love, protect, and provide for them to the best of my ability. I pray for them daily. I spend more on them than I ever did on myself. I sacrifice for my babies, and nobody can say otherwise. I love my children with all of my heart.
This year has made me more sentimental. I have decided to begin making our own holiday traditions, especially since we are going to start staying at home more often. We have three small children, people can come see us. This is the first year we will have bought a Christmas tree. My friend Beth did give us a small one as a loaner previously. I also decided to do other traditions as well. Starting this Sunday, we will be taking a picture of us every Sunday to see how our children grow and change. I will also cook a large Sunday dinner and invite our loved ones to join us. It is time to be more family oriented, our oldest is old enough to remember these things now.
When I found out the date for my son’s dedication, I decided that I should sing for it. I did for my other two, so I owe it to him as well. The only problem being that I have not been able to sing since January when I suffered multiple, bilateral pulmonary emboli, followed by a pulmonary infarction. I had clots in my lungs which later caused tissue death. I lost most function in my left lung. That coupled with living in the mountains made what seemed so simple seem like such an accomplishment. I decided to sing “Breath of Heaven” by Amy Grant. That song helped me endure all of my ailments while I was pregnant. I thought of Mary and her struggle while traveling for the census. I thought of the fact that she was chosen to be the mother of God and had to deliver our Savior in a smelly, unsanitary manger. She had to completely trust the Lord and she made it through, just as I. I sang that song as a testimony to surviving the most difficult pregnancy imaginable. For six months every day was a constant struggle to keep my baby and me alive. I found out later, that a dear friend heard the song in Wal-Mart while getting the flowers for the dedication. It was meant to happen. I found my purpose. That is how I learned how to live. You do what it is that you were meant to do. You do not let a setback, no matter the size conquer you. I got on that pulpit and sang to the full capacity of my 1.2 lungs. Yes, it made me lightheaded, yes I was huffy for ten minutes afterward as if I had run three miles. Had I known would I have still done it? Yes. You cannot let life kill you. Death on the inside will lead to your demise. That is what happens when you stop living. You will not get out alive anyway, so do, don’t just be.
I have always heard that people like to be with people who are like them; however, I am the exception to the rule. Most of my closest friends come from completely different walks of life. I embrace that., I like to hear about how they came to be who they are. Even small anecdotes that may seem as a simple conversation to them is a window for me. I like to learn about people. I know that I cannot accomplish that goal without diversity in the people I see regularly. Maybe it is because I am a minority in so many ways. I know that I am a rarity, so I try to see how others differ fro the norm. I wonder if the norm really exists. If I were a priest and could hear the confessions of all of the average congregants at my parish, what would I think? We all have something about us that separates us from the norm whether we can help it or not. Perhaps it is because of the type of people I attract, but I have not found a normal person yet. That is just fine with me.
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