Saturday, April 23, 2005

Lessons From a Child

Stubborn. Strong Willed. Just like her mother. And....if truth be told....probably just like her Nana. After an idyllic week, it came down to a battle of the wills tonight. I woke Addy early from her nap this afternoon...and I'm sure that was the beginning. At supper time she was hungry. I wanted her to eat the left-over chicken nuggets she didn't eat for lunch. She insisted on a peanut butter sandwich. Loudly. Nana caved on that one. I made the sandwich (to her specifications, of course). Then, guess what? I'm sure you know. She wouldn't eat it. Or anything else. Tears. Crying. Sobbing. Then, with all of that, the nose-thing she's had going on this week really kicked in. So I suggested medicine. Oh, wow! So she ended up sitting on a wooden stool (same one I sat on as a child--both for good and bad--and I still love it). She must sit there until she can say "I understand, Nana". That, after having explained the virtues of eating what you asked for and taking medicine that would make you feel better. She, of course, refused to say those 3 words--sobbing, "No, I can't!". Very hard for this Nana not to cave on this one. Even Grandpa came to see what all the fuss was about. He shook his head and wandered back out to quieter realms. Finally, Addy managed to get the words out. I immediately scooped her up and held her to me until the sobbing subsided. She sat on my lap and ate 3 chicken nuggets and part of the peanut butter sandwich. Until one bite. Which she didn't want to swallow. Oh, my. Here we go again. I talk. I plead. I offer her a drink of milk. In defiance, she blows in the straw (yes, with the bite of sandwich still in her mouth). Last straw. Back to the wooden stool. Much crying. Drooling. Running of the nose. Still the sandwich bite remains in the mouth. I clean out the dishwasher. I encourage her to swallow. I load the dishwasher. I encourage her to please swallow. Grandpa appears at the door again. And leaves again. I come to the computer. I plead, PLEASE swallow. I half-heartedly try to concentrate on what is on the screen in front of me. It is VERY HARD not to let her spit it out. I clench my jaw. More time passes. Finally, she swallows. Once again, I come to her immediately and scoop her up. She drinks some milk. We watch part of Aladdin. We look at a quilt book. Until she says "Turn the page", but won't let me turn the page. She is tired. Very tired. We have a bath. Which she very happily participates in. Even washing her hair--which used to cause hysterical screaming. We have a snack after bath. We brush teeth. Put on jammies. We lay down in her bed. We read 2 Pooh books. We sing "Jesus" songs. I sing "Nana, loves Addy, Nana loves Addy, Nana loves Addy, Yes, she does!" Addy hugs and kisses me. Many times. I hug and kiss her. She pats my face. I stroke her cheek. She puts her little arm around me and I hold her. She finally begins to drift off to sleep. So does Nana.

What a paradox. One that just blows me away. I would have thought that having made her sit on that wooden stool (TWICE) until she did what she was asked, that she would not have wanted anything to do with me. But in her childhood way, one moment was forgotten in the next. "I yuv you, Nana". Oh, how that makes my heart sing!!

Why can't I be like that. To forget one moment in the next. Yet, I struggle with events that happened years ago. And it isn't forgiving someone else. It's forgiving myself. But if Addy can "Yuv" me after all of the evenings events, surely I must be able to let go of those past things that haunt me. Lord, please help me to let those things go and feel the freedom you would have me to in your Grace. Help me to be more like Addy. "I Yuv you, Father."

After she had been asleep for about 2 hours, Addy came looking for me. Once again in tears. Her leg hurts, she tells me. "I need some B-12 and some Goo," she says. (We truly think she suffers from Restless Leg Syndrome--it runs in our family--the B12 helps). Having already given her the nightly vitamin, I managed to calm her with Goo (lotion) and rubbing her leg. We go back to her bed. She is still sniffling. I try my best to comfort her. I snuggle close to her. She snuggles back. I pat her. She pats my hand as I pat her. "I yuv you, Nana". "I love you, Addy". And the comforter is comforted.

Do you suppose we are ever a comfort to God? I know he comforts me. He holds me in His hand. He wraps His arms around me. He strokes my cheek. He encourages me. "I yuv you, God."

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is the Father who is full of mercy and all comfort. He comforts us every time we have trouble, so when others have trouble, we can comfort them with the same comfort God gives us. II Cor. 1:3-4

On Wednesday, this week, Addy went with me to my Physical Therapy appointment. They are helping me with "Tennis Elbow". She was very good while we were there. She watched everything. They were doing an ultrasound treatment. They put the gel on my arm. Addy asks what it is. I answer, "Blue Goo". Much giggling ensues. She continues to watch. Today, she is standing beside me while I was at work on the computer. There is a USB cable hanging loose from the CPU. She takes it and begins to rub the end of it over my elbow and says "We need Blue Goo!"

Do you think Mr. Bubbles is a laundry detergent?


Jayleigh said...

Wow Joyce. This was a great blog entry. I clicked on you from your comment on Seek God Now blog.

Addy sounds like a wonderful child. I have no children of my own, but a niece who's with us off and on when her parents drop the ball. We're the only constant in her life.

Forgiving ourselves is the hardest thing to do but His mercies are new every day. My hubby is *always* reminding me that when I ask for forgiveness, the sin is already forgotten because Jesus' blood washes us clean. We don't ever have to ask forgiveness again.

So that haunting you were talking about, the same that I feel at times, doesn't come from God. We need to fight against that.

Addy is lucky to have you for her Nana. Thanks for sharing and sorry 'bout the long comment.

Jayleigh said...

Um... you know what I mean... we don't have to ask forgiveness for THE SAME thing again.

Just to clarify in case someone thought I was trying to change the rules. lol

jayme said...

jayleigh is right mom.
love you.