I've actually never wished for this season of life to be over.
I have wished ...
... for Cate not to cry during announcements at church.
... for Cate not to always want her friends' toys, especially when she has plenty of her own.
... for Cate to realize just because other toddlers are doing something doesn't mean she get to too.
But I realize she's 21 months old and her friends aren't that much older. Lessons in sharing + obeying are lessons that take a lifetime to learn. Just ask God. I've had more than my share of moments believing I'm in control and that I know what is best.
I've never wished for this season to be over. Actually, I'm not sure what I'm going to do when it is.
I'm thankful I have wise friends who have been here and remember that encouragement is welcome. I appreciate my friends who are here with me, even if we don't handle parenting situations the same. And I'm thankful my husband + I have a plan. A plan for when she throws a fit because she can't talk on Norah's pink, industrial, plastic cell phone. A plan that trains her for this season and hopefully the ones to come. Granted, our plan doesn't work perfectly every time, but it was created in love.
An example from this morning: Cate was starting to throw a fit during church today. I asked her to stop + reminded her that a spanking would otherwise follow. I ended up taking her out of the sanctuary with the spanker in hand. She said, "I stop" as we were walking out, then she said, "No fits." See, she knows. But I reminded here again that when she throws a fit -- feet-stomping, voice-raising fit -- she gets a spanking. And she got a spanking. "No fits" she said again. And we moved on ...
When I walked back into the service, a friend from two rows behind me asked if I needed anything. The offer was sincere + appreciated. I think my face said frustrated. And maybe I was for a moment, but these moments pass so quickly. And the moments of Cate's sweet gibberish that is becoming more coherent each day, her hugs + kisses, the way she reaches for my hand when we're walking in a parking lot, all the times she watches me so closely so she can mimic whatever I'm doing, her hilarious dance moves ... all of those moments completely outweigh the moments of walking out of church to a quiet place to discipline her.
For a moment, as I walked back in, I wondered what people thought of me carrying a Lowe's paint stir stick as I carried my daughter on my hip. But then I remembered that we have a plan. Every parent has a plan of some sort, and believes their way is best. So instead of wondering what they were thinking, I praised God for discipline + training. And I thanked God for adopting me, fathering me and loving me, despite my own stubbornness + independence.
Yes, this season will pass, but I want to continue loving it while I'm in it.