She’s three and a half. I can hardly believe it. There is so much truth to the saying “The days are long but the years are short.” I wanted to put her age into months to be funny but I’m not good at math so it was taking too much time to calculate. Worst Indian ever. I was never that mom who told people how old my little one was in months because I never had any idea how old 29 months was exactly. I don’t criticize the mom who uses the month method though…I just assume she’s bragging that she’s good at math and then rapidly find myself enveloped in envy.
Each day, Rubina brings us a lot of joy and laughter and frustration and confusion. Parenting is so hard. Am I doing it right? No. I’m most certainly am not. Although, I’m not sure anyone is. I only say that because there can’t possibly be a way to do it “right”. Each parent and child and environment are so different which means all parenting styles must be adjusted accordingly. Three has proven to be a far greater challenge than that of 2 or 1 or even the first 6 weeks of her life that she spent in the NICU. She’s pretty wonderful and I will never use this space to gripe about my little button but I do want to share what I learn as I go. I almost always feel like I’m doing it wrong. Parenting, that is. It can be so frustrating and overwhelming. If you’ve ever had a conversation with me, you’ve heard me say “Being a parent is so much better than I ever imagined and so much harder than I ever imagined” many, many times. I can’t help but always feel like her behavior is a direct reflection of how good of a momma I am and whether or not Kevin and I are doing it right. Of course she is a reflection of us. Of course. However, her behavior, whether it be good or questionable does not dictate my value. It doesn’t make me good or bad; worthy or unworthy. As Christians, Kevin and I firmly believe our value comes from Christ, our Creator. You might find your value elsewhere, depending on your beliefs and background but I feel really strongly that we, as parents, cannot place the value of our entire existence on how quiet our children are in restaurants, whether or not they sit in time out for much of the day or even if they are as close to perfection as possible. As is the case, with all children, Rubina is learning about boundaries and she is absorbing information at a rapid rate. Our children need grace and consistency. They need to know that we won’t crumble if their behavior is less than desirable and that we won’t set unrealistic expectations for them to boost our own ego’s. Our littles need to be loved and nurtured and disciplined; they need to know what is and is not acceptable and that we will love them regardless of their behavior but that their choices will have consequences.
Ruby has been entrusted to Kevin and I and she will be 15 in what will feel like 5 minutes, I’m sure. We want to treasure her and learn from her. We need to lead her in the right direction and hope that she will grow in wisdom and maturity. It’s tough, this gig, but I think it’s incredibly important that I get this part of it right…it’s our most important job to raise her up well. Not to worry about doing it right but to focus on doing it well. She will learn as she goes; how to deal with successes and failures, heartaches, joys and all of the ups and downs that life will bring her way. We get to lay the foundation for her to understand how the world works, how to serve the people around her and how to continuously strive to build her own character and maintain integrity. In the meantime, we will be here to bandage up her scraped knees and encourage her to try again, make sure she apologizes when necessary and to kiss her squishy cheeks 17 thousand times a day. God created each of us beautifully and uniquely and I’m thrilled to be privileged enough to help my Rubina thrive and grow.