Learning childLIKE

A few months ago, I took my 5 year-old son in to get tested for seasonal allergies.  He is always the first to start with the runny nose, red eyes, sneezing, and all that jazz when the seasons change.  The pediatrician recommended we go so we could see how bad they were and what to do from there.  We sat down with the allergist and he asked questions and then they did the poke test.  They wrote like 40 numbers on my 5 year-old’s back and poked him with different substances to see how he reacted.  I was in awe of my 5 year-old.  I told him beforehand that they were going to have to poke his back and he made up his mind, by himself, that he was going to be brave and that his blanket named Moo-Moo would help him through.  He didn’t even flinch.  He just laid their quietly and got all the pokes done.  I asked him if he was okay and it was just like, “yeah, I am brave.” Simple. It turned out that he didn’t react to anything AT ALL!!!  The allergist was stunned and asked if they could do a couple of injections in his arm to go deeper into the skin.  I asked my 5 year-old if he was okay with that, “yep, I am brave!” And so they injected his arm with 5 separate things.  He did flinch a little but said he was fine.  So, he doesn’t have seasonal allergies.  He is really, really allergic to dogs and cats. I will spare you all the back and forth between the doctors but, my big guy is totally fine.

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I was thinking about how crazy it was that I let them poke him all over his back and how I don’t think it would have been very fun.  He was totally okay with it and enjoyed his sucker and stickers that they rewarded him with.  Plus he thought it was cool that he still had marker numbers all over his back (they all came off in the bath!).  I learned a lot from my child that day:

1- When people tell you that something may be scary but that you will get a reward after of having more knowledge of something, you can make up your mind beforehand.

2- When you make up your mind before hand, you STICK to it!

3- It is only as scary as you make it.

4-A little sugar makes a big smile.

5- Trust.

6- Positive self talk is a must.

7- Looking at life at different angles can be a lot of fun.

As I have been reflecting on this, a scripture has been running through my head.  It is from a sermon from King Benjamin in Mosiah.  The king is telling his people many things before he gives the throne to his son and is reflecting on the lessons that he has learned.

“For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.”

I submitted my 5 year-old to the poke test and the injections and he WILLINGLY submitted to them and was submissive, meek, humble, patient, and totally still full of love for me.  I need to become more like that.  I am not saying that I need to be child-ISH, but child-LIKE. I learn a lot from my kids every day and I learn a lot of repeat lessons as well from them.  But this really got me.

How can I become more childlike in my every day?  Am I willing to do things that may sound scary, but that offer a reward of knowledge that I am in need of?  Do I make up my mind to be brave and stick with it to the end?  Do I trust God to put me in situations and with certain people to help make a difference?  Do I engage in positive self talk and look at things from different angles?  I certainly get my sugar intake, don’t you worry about that! Is my relationship with God the same as my relationship with my child?  Do I willingly go where He wants me to go, not complain, am patient, and full of love?  I need a lot of work.  As an adult, I feel like I have chosen to close off some of those characteristics to keep myself safe, but you know what?  God is full of love for me and wants the best for me.  I need to be more childlike.

In Matthew 18:3 it says:

“And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

Am I truly converted and acting in a childlike manner to my Heavenly Father who is my loving parent?  I still have a lot to learn from my children and a lot to learn to be more like them!

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The seizure

It was September 17, 2009.

It is a hard day to remember.

It was 7:05 am and I dropped by my boss’s office to say good morning and then take my lunch to the lunch room, but I never made it there.  I glanced at the clock and remember thinking, “It is only 7:10 am and I am getting a really bad migraine.”  That was the last thing I remember until 7:55 am.

I had a seizure.  Apparently my lunch box flew.  I went face down onto the cement floor and seized.  My chin ripped open in the fall, I broke four teeth, and I stopped breathing.  Thankfully my boss was there.  She got help, I got CPR, and the ambulance came.  Someone frantically called my husband, who had stayed home that day, and woke him up.  He said it was a horrible thing to wake up to a phone call from your wife’s work.  The first thing I remember is the paramedic asking me who the President of the United States was.  I answered his question and said, “Can we move on?”  I had been answering the questions but I have no recollection of it at all.  How can our brains do that?  I don’t know.

But as we drove to the ER, I realized that something bad had happened.  And I was 14 weeks pregnant with my first child.  I wasn’t worried about me, I was worried that I had ruined my child.  I was worried about my husband driving to see me, I was worried that I was going to have to be making some crazy phone calls and yet, I didn’t even remember what happened.

It was a really hard day and a really humbling day to realize that life is so precious.  One minute I am saying good morning and then I am sitting in the ER the next.  Everything turned out just fine.  My baby girl was just fine (good thing I had some nice padding for her!), my chin got stitched up, I spent a lot of time at the dentist, and I was not allowed to drive or be by myself for a period of time.  It was another part of the humbling experience.  My independence was suddenly taken away from me.  I felt like I needed to process what was going on, but I was always with someone.  I am so grateful for so many people who helped me during that time.  I am grateful for Val, Doug, Scott, Terrie, Denise, Eric, and our parents who would call and check up on me from time to time.  Part of me realized that I was learning a big lesson, but the other part of me still didn’t grasp what had happened.

Through all the neurological testing that came after, there were NO answers.  It was a “fluke” and because they couldn’t figure it out they wanted to put me on high doses of medication that I felt that I didn’t need.  I didn’t take anything, I didn’t have any more seizures, but the memory of that day lives on.

The question for me was never, “Why Me?” but the question has always been “Why am I still here?”  I don’t think that I have all the answers to that question still.  Seven years later and I am still finding daily little puzzle pieces, but I am so grateful for the time I have been given.  I try hard to send something to my two heroes that saved me that day, but I don’t feel like it is ever enough.  How can you truly give something back to people that gave you your life back?

I am thankful for that day, seven years ago when I was able to remember that my life is in the hands of God.  I am thankful for that day, and for the many blessings and miracles that I have been able to be a part of.  I am thankful for that day, and for the many days that have happened after.  But most of all, I am thankful for life, for God, and for His love for me.  I have felt His love for me, in many tender times.  I am grateful that He is there for me, even when I turn away from Him and need to humble myself to feel His hand in my life.  What a blessing to have many hands lifting me up so many times. I use this day to remember the many people in my life, who have lifted me up and who continue to lift me up.  Thank you.

Skinned knees and bikes

This summer my six year old learned to ride a REAL bike.  We were hoping she would learn to ride last year, but she just wasn’t interested.  This year, she wanted to do it and had it down in 5 minutes.  There were definitely a lot of skinned knees though, like A LOT! She figured it out in 5 minutes, but in the ensuing days I think she fell more than that first glorious day.  Normally she is a little bit of a drama queen when she gets hurt, but this time it was different.  She would fall or sometimes jump off her bike before the fall and get right back up.  I was seriously impressed with her determination to become a “master” bike rider as she called it.  I love to see my kids succeed (who doesn’t?) but I loved even more to watch her truly self-motivated to accomplish her own goal.

This summer we also tried to teach our 4 year old to ride his scooter.  Now, you are probably thinking, can’t he just figure it out?  Well, it is a totally new concept for him.  I would say that he is not uncoordinated, but he was having a hard time connecting all the dots.  But there was a HUGE difference…I wanted him to do it.  HE didn’t want to do it.  The more I pushed, the more he pushed back, sometimes literally.  So I gave up trying to help him, and told him he needed to figure it out for himself.  Well, he doesn’t want to.  He uses his scooter to build construction sites and uses it as a wall to make his sisters crazy when they are trying to ride their bikes.  He is definitely more interested in building, digging in the dirt, and teasing his sisters- which is totally fine!

Then there is the two year old.  Yep, she actually took the trike from the 4 year old and took off leaving him sitting in the dirt.  “But mom that is my trike!” Haha, now you know the attitudes of my little ones.  They are all great, but this past year has been the first time when their little personalities are becoming more dominant and the sibling rivalry is coming out. In a way I totally love it, I love to see how they problem solve, or have a LACK of problem solving.  Never a dull day here.  One thing I have really been learning with my kids though, is to just let them be kids.  Sometimes I totally group them into a group called, “little adults.” If you want to read a good parenting book, you should look into “123 Magic.” You can check it out here. I expect them to do things like a rational adult would when their little brains are still just trying to figure out things, like problem solving.

In a way though, I wish I was more like them.  I wish I had the internal motivation to do things like my 6 year old.  She came with that drive, I didn’t teach it to her.  I want to jump right back up when I fall so I can become a “master.”  I wish I could not be afraid to share my opinion like my 4 year old.  And choose to do things that matter to me.  I want to learn from the good around me and laugh like my 2 year old.  I want to have fun EVERY day.  I think that is why in the scriptures we are counseled to be more childlLIKE.  Not childISH.  To be more trusting, more loving, less likely to harbor hard feelings and to go to time out and forget about it.  One of my favorite scriptures related to this is in the Book of Mormon (want to find out more about what I believe?  Go here or here).

Mosiah 3:19 For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child,submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

Sometimes I do “inflict” on my kids my little temper tantrums, but they love me just the same when I tuck them in at night and sing songs.  I need to be more like that.  I want to be full of love, ALWAYS!

I can learn a lot from my kids every day.  This summer I am choosing to let them be kids.  I didn’t go crazy with schedules or rules or enforce summer homework, I didn’t need too.  My 6 year old will read for hours at a time by herself without me bugging her.  If anything with her, I have to take books away.  Although I did request book reports and she doesn’t really like that.  My 4 year old has decided that he wants to learn to read and is memorizing sight words, because HE wants too.  He has also become very creative this summer, he will color for hours and create silly things EVERY day.  My 2 year old, she is figuring out that she doesn’t have to scream all the time, but she can watch her brother and sister and do what they do, and most of the time they give her what she wants.  Each one of them are different in so many ways, but they are alike in that they are just kids.  I want them to enjoy their childhood and enjoy each other.  Here is to many more skinned knees, bike rides, stories, coloring, problem solving, endless block towers and much, much more love!