My little girl’s middle name is Hope. This is because when I had no hope, Minnie gave it back to me. This person, when she was only five cells big, was my gift of hope.
I will always be thankful to my daughter for that gift. The Bible says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life”. And I think if Minnie hadn’t been the little embryo that could, my heart would have been very sick indeed.
I’ve been overwhelmed by how much I love Minnie this week. Which is odd to me because she has been a right little madam, pushing boundaries, telling me she wants another mummy, being rude to visitors in our house, generally looking nothing like the daughter I would like to see as the result of my parenting! I’ve had to discipline her so much, setting her boundaries and not letting her go over them (the harder part of the boundaries!). I am exhausted.
It has made me wonder about where we will be when she is an adult. What I want is to have a really close relationship with my daughter, to be intuitive with her, know her inside out, have her trust and respect, to know I have helped her be the best person she can be, that we will not only love each other, we will like each other.
At the moment she wants to switch mums because I don’t give her sweets every day (I have explained that if it’s sweets she wants, she should stick with me!). But when she is 14 will she want to swap me for a disappointment far greater?
Parenting is scary. I know I will love her with all my heart for all her life because she became mine at five cells big, everything after is irrelevant to how much I love her. “Everything after” isn’t irrelevant to our relationship though – there is much to bring us close and much to push us apart. My hope is that I will recognise which is which.
The scariest thing about parenting is that there are no guarantees…sometimes when they are little it seems like you can control your kids, but you know in your heart of hearts, that even then, it’s an illusion…& certainly as they get older, probably control is the wrong thing to be going for, after all Jesus came to set us free, not control us. But it’s hard isn’t it, it’s not that you want to control them, but you want to try & save them from making huge mistakes that will hurt them & maybe have long consequences. We were with some old friends last week, they have 3 boys, all now adults, 2 of the lads anyone would be delighted to have as sons, the 3rd is also a great lad but has chosen a route in life that at the moment means he is addicted to crystal meth (don’t even know if I have spelt that right!) & so he is bringing both himself & his family enormous anxiety & pain. The best advice Nic & I were ever given about parenting was to love our kids unconditionally & lavishly, to teach them what’s right & to pray hard for them, all the time.
I think you & Gareth are great parents, Claire, we loved being with you, & loved your kids, they are great….& of course Minnie will have a strong will, she’s your child!!
Hi Jenny. Thanks for reading and giving such a wise and encouraging response! I love to have counsel on parenting as I so do want to get it right as much as I can!! We loved having you Nic here, only sad we didn’t get to see more of you. Hope you had a good time with Chloe, I’m sure she will be missing you both now. Hope you’re enjoying being home now. Have a lovely Spring and Summer – ours has certainly come to an end with lots of rain and a chill in the air! Lots of love Clairey xx
Very eloquently put Mrs!