Saturday, September 3, 2011


Much of being a mama to a curious three year old involves answering the endless, "why, mama? How come? What's that mean?", questions. I usually answer simply as that is what I feel she is ready for and will understand the most: Why does the birdy sit on that wire? To take a rest and visit with the other birdies. Why do you yell when we are on the freeway? Oh sorry love, I should not yell. That person has forgotten to use his manners and it made mama sad. :)

But today, there came a harder question: about war. We were at a farewell party for a family friend who's son will be serving in Afganistan through the military. As we are getting ready to go, my girl is asking a million questions. Why is he leaving? Where is he going?what? How, where, when, will there be cake? Etc., etc, etc. My answers were again, to the point. He protects us. Like policemen and women, firefighters and paramedics. My girl looked at me, tilting her head and really pondering. The subject was dropped and we headed out.
During the party her questions resumed when the soldier brought out his vested gear and helmet.
I did my best to keep it simple, not wanting to go into any war aspect. This is what he is going to wear when he protects us...just like daddy, police and firemen have a uniform. Suddenly a young lady interjected and mentioned that the soldier will be, "fighting the bad guys". I saw my girls face freeze. This description was not what I had in mind. "Where are the bad guys, mama?" her eyes now scared. I sat her down and looked gently into her bright blue eyes that by this time were ready for answers. I told her she didn't have to be afraid. All the while there was a lump in my throat. I do not understand war. How can I even begin to explain it to my 3 year old. My hugs and cuddles brought security and I was thankful for that. It just made me realize even more the gammett of never ending explanations that I will give as a parent as well as the competing view points and ways to answer hard questions. I will be honest, but I don't want to scare her, especially at this young age. Must find the middle ground...which is what I will strive for.

In the meantime. I found this here. And love it.

If you’ve ever:
…gotten a lump in your throat while you heard the heartbeat of your baby;
…unwrapped your newly swaddled baby, completely out of curiosity;
…held the feet of an infant to your lips;
…gotten tears on your baby’s head in the middle of the night while feeding him or her;
…been so tired you handed your spouse a sippy cup instead of a beer;
…researched the cure for croup, at 3 a.m.;
…picked a tiny nose with your pinky finger;
…stumbled over your words, as you explained something so very big to someone so very small;
…wished with all your might for moments forever lost in time;
…surprisingly realized there were tears on your cheeks;
…paced the halls of your home, mentally willing a fever to break;
…wondered how it was possible for a little person to eat so much;
…wondered how it was possible for a little person to eat so little;
…discussed growth spurts, cradle cap, and the colour, consistency and smell of poop;
…were surprised at how long his little legs were getting as you re-tucked him in, before retiring for the night;
…felt warm vomit down your back as you try to calm your frightened child;
…laid awake and wondered if you could have done something better;
…heard 18 excuses why he doesn’t want to go to bed;
…bought them new shoes despite the fact you’ve had yours for 3 years running;
…baked 32 cupcakes at 10:30 at night;
(after doing a milk run in your pajamas);
…filled out a field trip form, only to worry about all the things that could go wrong;
…volunteered for that field trip to put your own mind at ease;
…stayed by the window after allowing her to bike to the variety store;
…talked candidly about sex and drugs, all the while nursing knots in your tummy;
…felt your heart soar along with his when he saved the game;
…been mad at someone else’s kid for hurting your kid’s feelings;
…taught them how to cook a meal/do a load of laundry/long division/anything, and somehow not ripped your hair out;
…been more excited than ever for Christmas morning, just to see their faces;
…spoiled them rotten when you got a few extra bucks;
…made her favorite meal, just because;
…tusseled his hair, and pulled him back for a kiss and a hug when he squirmed away;
…laid awake at night and willed time to slow down;
…thought you’d never, ever feel love like this – so raw and powerful – leaving you so very vulnerable…
…then you’re doing it right.

XoXo - Steph

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