Sunday, May 03, 2009

Dear Mom

The last few days have been miserable with my RA. I woke up crying again from the pain, which meant not making church of course. Jesse got up to take care of Mia, so I laid in bed praying to God, again turning over my pain to him and praising him in the midst of it. I was so frustrated; there's laundry to be done, a picnic after church today, so much I want to do and incapable of any of it. I prayed and asked God to let me see him pouring out his love on me today in a real way that I could see.

As I continued to pray with my eyes closed, I heard the door open again and then felt Mia's arms around me in a hug. I asked her to cover me with a blanket that had fallen on the floor in the night. She did so, and then brought her special blankie and covered me with that as well. She told me she'd be right back and ran from the room. Less than a minute later I could feel her hands moving around me. I opened my eyes to see a brown and white stuffed bunny plop right in front of my face. She was taking her favorite stuffed animals and tucking them in around me so I would be surrounded by her love. She said, "I'll take care of you today Mommy. I'm your little nurse, so if you need anything just ask me."

Hot tears welled up in my eyes as I realized that God was using Mia to show me his love. She was serving as his hands. My pain didn't let up, but my soul has been lifted up by the love of my Savior and my daughter.

Dear Mom by Melody Carlson is an invaluable book for mothers of teenage daughters. The book is written as a letter from a teenage daughter to her mother confessing the deepest needs and desires from her heart that your daughter will never actually reveal. First of all, I think that Carlson should cough up part of the proceeds to the actual author: my daughter. Because while Carlson's name is on the book, I swear that every word sounds as though it came straight from Molly's mouth! All kidding aside, Carlson nails the ambivalent, passive-aggressive, love you/hate you attitude that is second nature for teenage girls. And because it rings so true, I paid attention to every word. She offers solid advice about when to offer freedom and when to limit it, as well as the best ways to succeed at the nearly impossible task of not embarrassing your daughter. I gave the book to Molly to read to see if she agreed, and not only did she think that it sounded just like her, she occasionally pointed out specific passages to me that she wanted me to pay close attention to. I'm also a bit concerned that Carlson has a hidden camera in my house, because the section about Sisterly Love was taken almost word for word from an argument that took place a few weeks before I received the book. I definitely took those words to heart. I also counted several blessings in the reading, because while the author disavows ever confiding in her mother, Molly and I do have some real conversations, and now I know just how rare and precious that is. I cannot recommend this book highly enough, especially to moms who are struggling to get along with their daughters. Carlson lays out exactly what a girl's expectations are of her mother in a way that a girl could never really verbalize. I learned a great deal from reading this, and I know that Molly appreciated it.

Today's pix are from Solo Ensemble yesterday. A big thank you to Bre, Doogie's girlfriend, for the pix of Molly and Doogie singing together.