I have a great life. I have an amazing husband, I have three beautiful children that are healthy and have friends. We live in a great neighborhood, my kids go to a great school and we have a wonderful community of friends. But there is sin in the world, and things go wrong. My heart has battled with the anxiety around those things lately. The other thing that I just never fully anticipate until it leaves a bad taste in your mouth is the sting of relationship bumps. You know what I mean, a conversation is awkward, eye contact isn’t made, then other things start to happen or DON’T happen that you thought would always fall into place. Naturally. Relationships have to be cultivated right? Well what happens when you are not only responsible to cultivate your own relationships, but also ones for your child? A lot of discomfort, that’s what!
I have never felt like a champ when it comes to cultivating relationships. I should hug more, compliment more, call people, stop by, invite people over more. I should. I struggle with this, even though I am constantly surrounded with beautiful friends. I have kids, my friends have kids, they’re all going to be friends right? *sigh* that doesn’t always happen, or it’s harder than I thought.
My sweet Eden is a beautiful child, in and out. Yes, I’ve said it before, and I am aware of the cuteness factor of her freckles, clear blue eyes, and auburn hair. She’s creative, quiet, a follower and a bit of a hermit. The past few weeks she has started saying “no” more often to going out and being with people. I see her playing by herself, even though some of her favorite people are outside playing. She’ll opt to cling to me rather than run around the playground with the other girls. There have been a few hard things that have happened in Eden’s world the past few weeks, and things that will continue to change her world in the near future. I have wept over some of them. I hate seeing my daughter (who is reflecting my personality) being left out, lonely, hurt, or defeated.
How can anyone not love this amazing girl!! She’s a treasure! How can anyone decide to not want her around?! So I felt like I needed to intervene or search deep down inside of her and find what insecure place needed to be addressed. I don’t think that worked, she would get frustrated at my questions. The thing is, kids are really resilient. Eden does remember her defeats of the last weeks, but not with the same pain. And I bet by next week, she won’t mention it at all. The pain was witnessing her rejection and remembering that pain myself. Being the one on the outskirts while other girls demand attention. Eden is a nurturer, not a diva.
The little girls who have dominant personalities will have awesome lives full of passion, drive, careers, adventures, lovers. They will become famous and have life stories that will be great to read about.
The little girls who reach out to others all the time will feel the pain of others and constantly reach out with compassion. They will take care of many, take care of animals and the earth. They will teach and befriend many. They might get walked on, but they will always be surrounded by people.
My Eden will be steadfast, patient, fulfilling every need of those she serves. She will be loved deeply by the ones she lives with. She will not be outspoken, although she will have plenty to contribute. She will be smart, she will be able to make anything she gets her hands on. She will be beautiful her whole life, but simple and light of heart. She will be introspective but never depressed, because she will be satisfied with her work. She might have to work to have close friends. She might not understand sometimes why she feels lonely. I know that’s how I feel a lot. But she has something I never had, a sister. And Eden will not have my life. Praise God.
So as Eden gets older I prepare myself for tweenager-hood and later on, puberty. I hope it will stay far off. I love having her want to be with me, I hope I can encourage her to reach inside herself and fight against her comfortable independent spirit and share herself with friends who need her to be their friend. I have loved seeing what a gift Tessa is for Eden. I hope they will always be thick as thieves. I have learned from her about the joy and peace of being a child. The pain I feel for her is huge compared to her feelings. I need the peace of a child. I guess this is why I have Josiah, Eden and Tessa. And my husband, Joel. They point to the things that need God in my life. And they show me how to hope.
Right now all my kids are all playing computer games on PBS.org and giggling and huddled all together. Siblings are so important. I miss my brother!