Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Look at me

I say that 600 times a day.

"Look at me."

"Turn around and look at me."

"Look in my eyes."

"Stop and look at me."

I say it for all kinds of reasons not limited to correcting bad behavior. Well it's mostly that but not entirely.

"Look at me." "Listen to me." "Hear me." "Do this." "Then that." "No not that you know better!" "Drop that and look at me." "Look at me."

You think I'd had have come up with a new catchy phrase to say the same thing by now.

I haven't.

I want to be acknowledged and somehow my children can pretend I'm not there if they don't have to look at me. I'm not alone on this I know. Right? Right?

Look at me.

Yesterday was Charlie's day at gymnastics. Today was Joy's. Oh and Monday Ty goes. Apparently gymnastics was what was missing in our lives. Now we go three days a week.


Yesterday I heard, "Mom! Look at me!" From Charlie and today I heard it from Joy. Today, though, was not just, "Look at me," but also, "Did you see that? I did it! I can do it! I did a back fwip!" (A back roll) She was so extremely satisfied with herself. So proud. She stood there with her little hands on her hips and posed for all of us to see. I was equal parts embarrassed and so happy that she was so happy. A man sitting beside me on the bleachers yelled for his little girl and she proudly showed off her new back fwip too. Then I heard, "Daddy did you see me? Did you see that? Did you look at me?" He yelled that yes, in fact, he did see her and he was proud of her.

I glanced over at Joy and she was looking at me. She said, "Mommy are you so pwoud of me? Her daddy said he was pwoud can you be pwoud of me?"


She wanted to see if I could do what the little girl's dad did-validate her. See her. Look at her. Could I give her the praise she wanted or did it have to come from a daddy. Y'all it wasn't even a hard day at all but there we were. Ouch.

After I silently chewed Sean out (again,) I smiled and clapped for her and I probably singled myself out as crazy but I didn't care. I mean, it's gymnastics. It's okay to go overboard cheering. I wanted her to know that yes, momma can validate you. Momma will break her back validating you the best she can. And momma's heart will ache that you don't have your daddy here to validate you.

There will come a time in their lives when they will do the same thing with God, as so many of us did as new believers and maybe I still do that now.

"Are You really up there, and can You see me? Can You really see me and are You looking at me? Did You take the day off Lord or should I do more to make You happy so You'll look at me? I need You to look at me. To validate me and praise me. Am I good enough for You? Can I be enough for You? Can You be enough for me?"

They may struggle with things I didn't struggle with. I always had to work out and watch my weight. I was never skinny minny. I also struggled with pride, to me one of the the scariest sins. I thought I was better than people who succumbed to sin. I thought I was stronger than other girls who couldn't resist temptation. I felt like I deserved God's blessings. Even typing that scares me, it's so prideful and ugly. There I was going, "Look at me! Look at what good I did or how good I've been! Where is my reward Lord? Where is Your favor?"

I pray that my kids won't struggle with that but they could. I can't predict what they will feel or think. I can't protect them from feeling pain or shame and I can't guarantee them a happy life. I can teach the girls about real beauty and hope that my actions and the world around them don't make them second guess the truth. I've got a role in all of that I get it.

But the rubber meets the road with the question, "Do You see me? Am I worth Your time? Are You proud of me?" They'll ask it. My most important job is to teach them that His answer has always been like mine was today.

"Yes, child I see you! Yes I love you and I'm so glad I'm here with you! You are precious to me!"

He sees. He knows.


Emmy said...

I thought this was going to be a discipline post - "LOOK. IN. MY. EYES." - but it made me cry. I pray all the time for the kids. I love them, we all love them, and we will NOT let them fall through the cracks.

Erin MacPherson said...

I love this. It's so easy to get caught up in life and not let our kids know they are worth our time by actually spending time with them. Lovely post!