I loved doing it. When I was pregnant with her, my husband bought a cookbook on making baby food. Me, being the book lover and reader that I am, read it front to back before she was born. I'll read anything. If I go in to get my car worked on and all they have are mechanic (or whatever you call them) magazines, I'll read it. Every article. Anyway, I decided, right after I got done reading the cookbook, that I would make her baby food. I did it not because I am one of those, "only organic, blah, blah, blah, food" moms, I did it because it was cheaper than buying the jarred smelly stuff.
I truly received a lot of satisfaction from making her food. I felt like it was another way I could pour my love out to her, in a tangible way. I think that is one of the reasons I loved nursing her as well. I didn't choose to breast feed because "breast is best" but, just like the homemade baby food, it was a lot cheaper. So cheap, it was free. When I first made the decision to nurse, I thought it would be something I would girt me teeth through but it turned into a great a way to bond with her. I treasured that time of closeness and knowing my body was doing something amazing for her. I believe, as mother's, we have an inherent desire to give our babies the best of whatever we can offer. I was just a mommy trying to give my baby the best start possible, in any way that I could.
This morning, as I was making my daughter her breakfast, I experienced that same exact satisfaction I did two years ago. She wanted yogurt with fruit in it so I made her a homemade yogurt parfait. She was so excited at what I had done for her and my heart swelled as she expressed her thanks.
That child of mine, she is such an appreciative girl.
So, I realized that I receive a feeling a satisfaction from feeding her well. As any mother of a toddler will tell you, that is huge! The baby that ate so well two years ago, barely eats anything of substance now and I sometimes feel like it would be easier to go into combat then try to have a meal with her.
But I wonder, shouldn't I desire more to feed, to nourish her soul?
Do I feed her soul?
Do I give her words that truly nourish to chew on? Do I give her behavior that is worthy of imitating? Do I give her words of Truth to live by?
Isn't what I'm doing as a mother go far beyond her nutritional status? Deeper to the soul to give her more, teach her more that will truly be the nourishment of growth and morsels to sustain?
Doesn't parenting go far beyond the food and the home and the school and the sports?
Doesn't it go far beyond the satisfaction I feel from doing good for her?
For a few years now, every child, when participating in a sport, receives a trophy or some type of medal. Whether or not they win or lose.
I don't think that is right. I actually don't like that at all.
If you win, then you deserve recognition. If you lose, you don't deserve the same as the winners.
Life is not about the hardware.
Here is the reason I dislike how a child receives a trophy if they come in dead last: it is an opportunity missed.
Life doesn't always go the way of our plans. We don't always get what we worked so hard for. We often times don't even get what we really wanted. There are wrongs done that are undeserving. There are hearts broken and dreams shattered.
If a child does not receive a trophy when they come in last, good. Grab that opportunity and your child and do something with it.
Teaching your child that life is hard and then how to handle that when you are disappointed because things didn't turn out the way you had hoped . . . because your heart is broken . . . that is hard.
It is hard but very necessary. If you don't teach or show your child how to handle those small disappointments that seem huge when they are small, how will they ever know how to handle those earth shatterings later?
Trophies for everyone, homemade baby food, homemade yogurt parfait . . . that's easy.
Teaching, demonstrating, living when a moment, a phase is ugly . . . that's hard.
I want my daughter to be healthy, I want her to enjoy those moments of winning. To savor those moments of satisfaction and accomplishment. But I also want more for her.
Someone told me recently that all they really want for their children is for them to be happy.
That is good. That is what I wanted for her before I didn't receive my dream of bringing my girls home.
Now? Now I want her to know true joy. I want her to know that she can withstand the winds that bang and rage when broken dreams rain down. Because they will come at some point in her life and I won't always be able to make it better, to offer her a trophy.
I want her to be happy, but more than anything, I want her to be able to see her God when the storms cause blindness and for her joy to rest in her Maker.
Happiness and trophies, they are fleeting and based on circumstance.
When you hold the Promise of the King, you can have joy, regardless of winning or losing . . .
. . . with or without the homemade yogurt parfait.