Monday, April 27, 2009
The Power of Prayer
This sweet little thing is one of the greatest joys of my life. My home is full of the sounds of her contagious laughter and made up songs and jokes. I am continually in awe of her intellect and budding creativity. My walls are adorned with her beautiful artwork. I am constantly amazed by her endless energy. My heart melts as I see the love she has for her younger brother and sister. How I love this precious child.
And yet, she knows how to test her limits! This child of mine seems to personify the age old nursery rhyme "There was a little girl who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead. And when she was good, she was very, very good; and when she was bad, she was horrid." It seems there is no middle-of-the-road in her emotions or her behavior. No ambiguity. No mediocrity. She is either charming, loving and obedient to a fault, or else beligerently testing the number of ways in which she can simultaneously defy my authority and laugh my rules - and me - in the face. Though I haven't kept a tally, it seems that, most days, the good moments outnumber the bad....but some days I'm not so sure. In my heart of hearts I believe that, deep down, she is an amazing, talented, wonderful human being, but I often find myself wondering where I have gone wrong in teaching her love, respect and integrity.
Yesterday, while the Mr. was putting the baby down and I was reading stories to Angel and Grins, I asked Angel to please keep her noise level down. After my second warning she proceeded to look me squarely in the eye and scream at the top of her lungs. I calmly picked her up and carried her to the back deck, where I explained that her loud behavior was only acceptable outside, and that she would need to remain on the back deck until her father had finished putting the baby down (about 5 minutes lest you deem me a negligent mother). She laughed and I left, thinking some less-than-charitable thoughts about this child I nurtured in my womb. When the baby was asleep, the Mr. retrieved Angel from the deck and deposited her into bed. To my surprise, she requested I be the one to tuck her in for the night. As I stood at her bedside, I told her how much I love her and that I was sorry if I had seemed angry, but that I was simply trying to teach her acceptable behavior. She replied, "Mommy, when I was out on the deck, I prayed. Twice. And then I felt better. I forgive you. I love you." Holding back the tears, I held her for a while, then kissed her goodnight. When I told the Mr. of this, he tearfully replied that he knew; when he had gone to let her in he'd found her kneeling in prayer on the deck.
Will love and goodness prevail in this sweet, headstrong little girl's personality? I, too, am on my knees every night, pleading that it will.