Motherhood thought for the day: Remember to listen to your children and try to remind yourself that you once were a child too! Today, started out low key; me and the girls and a few cartoons….then as each day does it seemed everything started getting discombobulated and I found myself in a rush. Scrambling for outfits for the girls, getting them in the car and ready to go! It all gets to be a bit much and at times I grow impatient with the girls as one is always lagging behind and Braelyn was lagging behind, and I said “Hurry up, Braelyn! We have to go!” She had stopped by the step…I tapped my foot on the ground as I watched her squat and wait…just as I was about to yell at her I saw Hank (our old black lab) hobbling up the drive. She leaned in and kissed him whispered “Good morn’n, Hank!” I got a lump in my throat as I watched Hank nuzzle her before finding his place on the porch.
After her quest was fulfilled she said, “I coming, Mommy! I had to give Hank dem kisses and tell him morn’n!” Hank looked on as if he was grateful for the act of kindness! Just melted my heart…while I was busy hurrying along because this world teaches us to HURRY UP!!! My beautiful, sweet daughter was taking a moment to kiss an old friend on the head and let him know that he matters! I felt my eyes mist over and I strapped her in the booster before I looked in her eyes, “Brae Brae, Mommy is sorry to rush you! You never hesitate to stop and take a moment for the things that are important to you! Never forget to let a friend know that you love them!” She looked at me, and said, “Hank needs kisses so he don’t get sad!”
I looked on the porch at the now elderly Hank and wondered how many times I pass him on the step and don’t stop to pat his head!? And still he will follow me around the yard in hopes I will stop to love him! Braelyn saw it…his need for affection, appreciation, compassion in exchange for his loyalty! Lord, let me see things through my daughters’ eyes; things are much slower, kinder and more beautiful lying in their depths!
Motherhood teachings by my daughters: Today was a good day…as a day can go when you have kiddos. There were a few snags, fights, and quarrels but overall everything was smooth sailing….until around 11 this morning when Brynlee was playing with her doll and Braelyn decided that she wanted it….well, both my girls are strong willed and so the fighting ensued…in which Braelyn punched Brynlee! Well, I discourage violence but kids will be kids. So, I kissed Brynlee’s boo boo and told her she would be okay and then put Braelyn in her room to “think about her behavior then she could apologize to her sister!”
Braelyn was raising a commotion and screaming…and then silence..Hmmm…I thought I am brilliant; all this time out stuff is finally working. So after a few minutes I walked down the hall and heard the soft sound of Brynlee’s voice, “It okay, Sissy….shhhh” Braelyn was crying, “Mommy, make me go to da time out! I not want to go to dat time out!” Brynlee was consoling her and said, “You get up in just a minute, baby. It okay, honey! Here Sisser, you hab it! Don’t cry..” Both girls were oblivious as I stepped into the room and witnessed one of the sweetest things I have ever seen. Brynlee was stroking Braelyn’s back, and was snuggled up to her attempting to rock her…and there in Braelyn’s lap was the baby doll she had wanted. The very same doll that Braelyn had wanted so badly…Brynlee’s favorite baby doll…the doll that had caused all the chaos and the reason Braelyn had hit Brynlee! Yet, not even five minutes later, the fact that her sister had hit her, and tried to take her toy…it was all forgotten. In that moment all that mattered was her sister was crying and she wanted to fix it. Already, she had not only forgiven her but had gifted her with her favorite toy! That is the beauty of babies….no grudges, no hatred, no bitterness, just love and forgiveness! As adults, we hold tight to grudges of those who have wronged us, when we see them hurting we often think, “That is what you get for hurting me!” But in the pure heart of a child when someone they love hurts them, they forgive, and when someone is in need of comfort they give it to them….today that need was a baby doll with wild hair, a kind word, and a comforting hug from her sister! Be slow to anger, and quick to forgive, that is the lesson they taught me today!
Today 3 years ago at around 5 am my gorgeous little girl was born! Brynlee Jean Mangrum weighing in at a whooping 5 lbs 9 oz! It would be 3 days before I would be able to hold her in my arms……longest 3 days of my life! I have made up for lost time with lots of cuddles every since because she is definitely Mommy’s snuggle bug! She is my bit of sass, touch of sweetness, prettiest smile, plain mischievous and the most loving little girl! This day 3 years ago was my second baby….the second child the doctors said I would never had! After 8 miscarriages and a little guardian angel, my sweet Braelyn…I carried her and she is the perfect fit for this family! Cannot imagine a day without her! She is that hug when your heart is aching, the kiss for no reason, my little nasty nice, girly girl, and baby doll wagger! She is such a proud little sister and loves her sister more than anything! She has her heart! And though she may be small she is fierce…so much personality and the biggest heart is bottled up in her tinsy little self! Thank you, God for giving me the gift of motherhood to this beautiful little girl and her big sister! God gifted me today with a second daughter and gave Braelyn a sister….which is the greatest gift that I ever got as a little girl! I waited a LONG time, shed a LOT of tears and hit my knees in prayer and God answered!!!!!!! He handcrafted these babies for me…I know this because their heartbeat matches my own, they fit perfectly in my arms and flood my heart with love each and everyday! PRAISE GOD for gifting me with the best babies ever!!!!!! Happy birthday, my lovely, my precious, my dinky do, my sweet Brynlee Jean…MOMMY ADORES YOU!
My kids REALLY are the funniest kids! I was letting kids paint while I tried to get some painting done. It lasted about an hour before they began losing interest and began painting other things…including EACH OTHER (Hey 1 hour is a long time to hold a toddler’s attention so I was pretty pumped) BUT after a few meltdowns I told them it was time to put the paint away and we would use it another day…Braelyn was truly upset about this development, and began crying! Here is the dialogue between the girls
Brynlee (comforting her distraught sibling): “It ok, Sisser. We can paint ‘nudder day!”
Braelyn (in tearful voice and grabbing Brynlee’s hand): “Come on, Brynlee Jean!”
Brynlee (uncertain): “Where we going?”
Brae (determined and mad): We going to dat Walmart to get a new mom!
Brynlee (the serious and LITERAL one begins crying real tears!): NO I NO WANNA NEW MOMMY! I love da mommy!
Braelyn (Whispering now): “Yes, you do want a new mommy cause ours is broken!”
Brynlee (VERY upset about the prospect of a new mommy): MY MOMMY NOT BROKEN!”
Braelyn (leaning into her sisters ear with serious face): “YEP, SHE IS Broken CAUSE SHE IS HATEFUL!” BAHAHAHAHA
Needless to say, I was laughing so hard and it took me at least an hour to console Brynlee that she wasn’t getting a new mommy, she told me she is STILL mad at her “sisser for saying dat!” I can’t stop laughing!
Braelyn was hiding from Brynlee…and she was being REALLY quiet behind the couch for like thirty minutes! Brynlee kept coming in the living room asking me where Braelyn was; I told her she ran away. Brynlee got really serious and said, “I want her to come back!” I said, “Nope, she’s gone forever because you two can’t stop fighting so she ran away!” Brynlee gets tears in her eyes and says, “I not fightin’ with her!” I reply, “you were before she ran away!” She looks down at the floor then back up at me with HUGE crocodile tears and whispers, “Mommy, can you go and find her?” So I ask her why I should find her….she mutters, “Cause I miss her and I want to kiss her face!!!!!!” Gosh, I love these kids even when they drive me crazy!
Brynlee usually HATES when I wear glasses so I usually wear contacts. She asked yesterday, “Why you wear dem glasses for?” I said, “So I can see!” Brynlee looks puzzled, “So, you can see me, Mommy?” I nod….thinking she got the concept…Today I took my glasses off to rest my eyes…she says, “Mommy, put your glasses back on, PUT YOUR GLASSES BACK ON!” I tell her I would she says, “HURRY MOMMY I CAN’T SEE YOU!” ROFL
Motherhood wisdom (warning long post): I am learning as I go…being a mom is a never ending process of learning! There are days, chaos consumes my house, the noise level often breaks the sound barrier, and meltdowns happen more frequently than I prefer…the truth is there are so many days I literally pray for bedtime….I count the hours until I can retreat into peace, tranquility, work on art, or like tonight I get the urge to write! This post is mostly for me but maybe it will resignate with some others. I write on here to keep a timeline of tidbits of the days, moments, so I can reflect and one day recall these days that I just cannot wait for the days to be over….I am guilty of that. Often I rush bedtime, a quick prayer, a kiss and hug before sighing and breathing a sigh of relief as I close their bedroom doors…relief that I made it through one more day. There are nights my girls refuse to go to bed and it tests my patience but usually they go to bed quietly. Tonight after placing my youngest darling to bed a half hour later she was still awake…….I went into check on her and she had redressed herself into a princess sleeper. I told her it was bedtime and mommy was tired. She is a sensitive soul and wise beyond her years…she said, “You tired, Mommy?” I nod. “You can sleep with me…” I explain I cannot fit (at least not comfortably in her bed). So she tells me she will hold me and lays my head into her lap and plays with my hair. It is such a tender moment my eyes mist over, “You sad, Mommy.” I shake my head no, she says, “when I am sad i need my mommy…do you need your mommy?” I decide to tap into this moment to connect and listen, “I always need’ my mommy.” Her eyes soften and replies, “You Mommy not here she don’t live here, I be your mommy tonight!” I linger in the moment, the feel of her tiny hands in my hair, her soft hair falling in my face as she rests her head on mine. Then she welcomes me into her world, a world of princesses, stories, a glimpse into childhood. I love hearing her stories they are filled with beautiful things. Softly she whispers, “mommy, you get your glasses at walmart?” (I wear my glasses at night instead of contacts) she says, “I can’t see walmart mommy so I need glasses like you!” I chuckle then she raises my glasses up says, “Mommy, your eyes are pretty!” I smile all the way from my heart…then she asks me to shut my eyes and asks me if I got makeup on and that she wants to wear my makeup. I respond that she is beautiful and she doesn’t need makeup to be pretty and Mommy does. She places one tiny hand on each cheek (my favorite thing ever) and looks me in my eyes before breathlessly whispering, “But Mommy YOU are SO pretty!” There was such sincerity, adoration, and truth in her voice that I let the tears fall, never fell more loved than the love from my girls! I am so grateful I took the few minutes to kneel by her bed and just be with her. Slow down, the most precious moments come in the most unexpected times, moments that can’t be rushed, that could be missed if I had rushed her off to bed. Tonight I go to sleep knowing a love that only a child and mother can share….thankful for the quiet moments where these precious beings allow me into their souls, moments of connection…….for it is those moments that make all the tough ones worthwhile! Oh, I so love my girls and their beautiful hearts!
Absolutely nothing hurts worse than to see your child struggle, to see her try her very best, to see her work so hard and things that come so easily to other children…And then to see that she still can’t master the things she’s working so hard to accomplish….It makes me feel like I’m failing her, it makes me feel like I’m not enough, it however does not make me less proud of her!!! It takes true adversity, true strength, to try, try and try some more…she doesn’t give up, she doesn’t admit defeat, and that is what matters more to me than any struggle she faces. Braelyn, my beautiful girl, I know that you don’t understand all the new things you are learning but mommy promises that together we will conquer whatever needs conquered….It hurts to hear your child falls in the special needs category, it rips at the seams of my heart, but I know we must face whatever hardships you have and we will!!! I refuse to let you be categorized, or put limitations on because I know you will overcome whatever lies ahead…there is nothing you can’t do, and together you will be the very best at whatever you choose to do. I wouldn’t change a single thing about you, you are perfect, you are resilient, you are special, and you are different which is what makes you who you are!! I hate that you have to try harder, study more, try to understand things that you cannot comprehend…but God gave you courage, determination and a stubborn streak a mile long….so just know mommy will be here every step of the way and I’m so thankful that He gave you teachers that want to see you succeed, teachers who see the inner and outer beauty I see, teachers who love you…but then again, I don’t know anyone who can see your smile, hear your contagious laugh and not fall in love with you. This is a part of you, but it doesn’t define you…as tears roll down my face watching you play, I know God has a plan for you (his plan for me was to be your mommy) and I just want to say to the little girl sitting on the couch eating a popsicle I’ve NEVER been more proud of you
Walking down the hall with my tiny Braelyn, she’s dragging her iv pole with her, smiling at everyone she meets, we pass an old man who looks disheartened and before I knew what she was doing she softly pats him on the shoulder, “I hope you won’t be sad.” The old man was sitting outside a room and I didn’t ask his story but he patted Braelyn on the head and responded, “you are a wise little one, life is too short to be sad.” He smiled a weary smile and his eyes went some place I couldn’t see…then she stopped to hand a fussy infant a toy she dropped from her stroller, she holds a door for a lady as we walk through…on the elevator a very sick elderly patient seems to struggle to stand…I look at Braelyn as she has a tendency to say whatever comes to mind which makes me nervous, then she reaches over and touches the ladies hand, it was old, fragile, wrinkled from years of which I know nothing about, her nails even in her frail state are long and manicured with a beautiful shade of red…then the words…”your hands are beautiful, you are beautiful!” The lady looks up tears rimming her already cloudy eyes, “what a sweet girl you are, and you are beautiful!” At this point I feel tears roll silently down my cheeks. As we step off the elevator I watch the lady make her way towards her empty room but before she leaves she touches Braelyn’s hair, “you made this old lady’s night!” She looked at me and I impulsively hug the lady, she hugged me back like a thirsty man drinks water. No words were exchanged between us but as I sit here watching braelyn sleep, I think of that old man who may have lost or may be facing losing a loved one, with a single gesture she comforted him, the toddler who had dropped her toy and Braelyn simply extended a helping hand, but the one that sticks out the most is the lady…mostly her hands…hands that adults would see as weathered…but my sweet girl saw beauty…those hands had undoubtedly rocked a sick baby, nursed a boo boo, cooked and cleaned after little ones much like I do now, and yet her room was empty (we walked by) everyone needs love, comfort, encouragement, and compliments…and my child is a gift, a terrific gift that sees things the way God sees us…I’m still choked up, thank you, God for Braelyn…She’s exceptional, extraordinary, special….I wouldn’t change a thing about her, but God if you get a chance could you let me see things through Braelyns eyes