Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Birthday Baby Girl

A mother of mostly-grown kids told me the other day that the more babies you have, the more you wish they would stay babies a little longer.  I am finding that to be true.  I have enjoyed Eleanor's babyhood more than any of the others.  She's just  such a fun and sweet little thing, and something in me has finally come around to realizing what a short time babyhood is and I'm trying to learn to savor it a little.

Eleanor turned one today!  She's still a baby, but the time for that is getting shorter.  

I love how mystified one-year-old babies are for that first birthday.  They go along every day, following the usual routine and then BAM--  cake, candle, and "Mom's really letting me dig my hand's into this?"

It's hilarious.

Now, if you're my Mother or my Grandmother, you're probably noticing something right now.

Call me a narcissist, but I couldn't help myself.  Yes, that's me in the photo above.  Me, on my first birthday, in a little purple and white dress, with a kitty cake.

And I have that dress!  And I can make a kitty cake!  And I have this little girl.  So I did it.  I resisted the urge to make everything not-fun by trying to replicate the old photo exactly, but I just had to catch the similarities.  I only get one chance.

She's very much her sunny little self.  But she's wearing my oooooold dress.

I got her own high-fashion duds back on her after the cake, though.  She had that old dress pretty well covered with frosting.

Her Grandma made her a couple of cute little sunhats, and she looks adorable in them.  She wasn't too excited about having something on her head at first, but when sufficiently distracted, I found that she forgot about it and wore one for most of the rest of the day.  Call me shallow, but dressing her up cute is one very fun perk of having a girl.  (For the record, I like to dress my boys up cute, too...)

It was a fun day! And now my baby is a one-year-old.  Siiiiigh.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother Flowers

I was sitting on my front porch during naptime today and I noticed my purple creeping phlox all in full bloom. It is one of the few plants that surprises me by thriving in the hard clay soil here.  That soil frustrates my attempts to grow so many things.  

Nathan gave me this plant just a few days after Jonah was born-- on my first Mother's Day as a mother.  It was just a small plant then.  I dug it up and moved it a year later when we moved to this house and now it has spread out quite a ways over the rocks bordering the flower bed, softening the hard edges.

It has grown large and beautiful.

There are weeds intermingling among the flowers.  Some are very large and some are small.  They're all tangled up with the stems and roots.  Their tops break up the lovely surface of the phlox blossoms.

My state of motherhood has certainly grown since Jonah was born-- more babies, more joys, more struggles.  It's beautiful, but there are weeds.  Those weeds are mixed right in with the flowers.  I can try to pull the weeds, but they are very firmly rooted in that hard, dry clay of my heart.  Most of the weeds just break off at the ground and I can't quite get the root.  It really seems too hard for me to get the root with the weed and it takes an awful lot more work.  Even then, it might come back.

I can fluff the flowers around a little to try to hid the bare spot where the weed was, and where its root still lurks.  It looks a little better.  For now.

I take comfort in knowing that my motherhood flowers in the garden of the Master Gardener.  He causes it to flourish, even in hard, dry clay, and He will continue to work at those stubborn weeds that I am too weak to pull.

Just as the phlox cannot purge the weeds that grow with it, so I cannot free myself from the selfish sins that take root in my heart and make my motherhood imperfect and sometimes ugly.  Through God's constant care the weeds will not take over and the clay will not prevail.  By His saving grace my mothering will grow and thrive and be a blessing to my family.