A sterile hospital room transforms into a sanctuary of life the moment a bundle of strength and tenderness is handed to his mom for the first time. Labor ceases and the high calling of mothering sets in motion destiny.
The look in a newborn’s eyes when he beholds his mother is one of life’s most heavenly moments. Studying her face with an adoring glare, he revels in the sound of her voice. Delivered from creation into earthly arms, a newborn baby captures a mother’s heart, by design. They study us, these little ones do. Watching our every move, memorizing our lives.
“It is no small thing, when they, who are so fresh from God, love us.” Charles Dickens
Our little ones are enthralled by us and this dynamic requires around the clock relating. For a young mom, being followed by a talkative toddler and interrogated by a preschooler with more questions than one has answers, is a daily routine. No wonder we grow to relish the sound of silence and find naptime divine!
But somewhere between non-stop talking and following us everywhere our children change in how they relate to us. We busy ourselves with life’s duties without realizing they are no longer talking to us, staring at us, following us everywhere. Is something wrong?
Every mother faces this dilemma. Our bouncing little boy morphs into a middle-aged child with mood swings and deep thoughts. He retreats to his room without a word or even a glance. We feel snubbed. “Doesn’t he know what I’ve done for him?”
We want our child’s heart. From birth they have loved us with their whole heart. Then a season of change blew in – the middle years – bringing the unfamiliar to both mother and child.
It is tempting to run through a litany of tools to fix this child. Visions of the child with a sparkle in her eye who could not get enough of us race through the mind. What’s a mother to do?
“Don’t curse the darkness ~ light a candle.”
A growing child’s insensitivity is not a verdict on my parenting. We all have difficult days.
The bigger question is, “What’s going on in her soul?” Has she believed a lie that her parents are no longer on her side? Does he feel disrespected? Is she tired and weary beyond compare?
When I take their actions personally, it’s my responsibility before the Lord to get perspective, pray and get my heart right! Then, I pursue this child. Not to confront, but to understand and assume the best.
Their heart matters! I want them to know that I am the same mom whose world was forever changed the day they were born. I made a place for them in my life when they were little and I am making a place for them now.
Yesterday I texted our teenage daughter, “You want to grab some lunch?” Immediate reply, “Sure!” Over veggies at our favorite spot we laughed and talked on several subjects at once, as only girls can do. We both needed to reconnect. I rearranged my day and she rearranged her heart. These moments are golden! I treasure them as a new mom treasures holding her baby.
Restoration usually happens around food in our family. With a young son, ice-cream or a snow cone softens the countenance and has been known to transform the worst of days.
When I single a child out without expectation they soften, offering a glimpse into their soul. I find them so willing to relate – to gaze back at me. Were they longing to be noticed?
I remind myself the gangly teenager I am pursing is the same little soul that studied me so purposefully at birth. Now it’s my turn.