I've been thinking about growing up lately, what with my birthday having just past. My mom sent me this card onto which she taped pictures of my 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th birthdays. It's always funny to look back at childhood pictures...especially when you have kids that are about the same age as the pictures. Claire and Sammy are 5 and 3, so it makes me think of what I was like as a kid and what they are like at the same age.
And, of course, I've been thinking about how I thought I'd be so much more "grown up" by this age than I am. I thought I'd have more self-discipline. I thought I'd be a better Christian. I thought I wouldn't feel so insecure. I thought I'd know intuitively how to be a good parent. I thought sacrificing what I want for my family's sake wouldn't bother me so much.
But sometimes I realize that I haven't really changed one tiny bit since these pictures were taken! I literally worry about the same things, like the same things, (well....I like Pretty Ponies less now but I have the same general tastes for things) get frustrated about the same things (Give me more attention! I wanted the piece of cake with the jelly bean on it! Let me have my closet light on when it's bedtime!) etc. Alright, I have a few different worries now, but for the most part, I just haven't changed that much.
And then I wonder if any of us really change THAT much. After sitting in chairs facing each other in a marriage counselor's office with my husband this morning, I realized I don't think we do. He's still kinda the same as he was at 4 years old and so am I. I mean, of course, we've "grown up" in many ways, (and I don't have bangs anymore) but really we are what we are for the most part. So, I guess it was at this counselor's office this morning that I started to realize: she's not going to change us. She's not going to change anything about either of us. She may give us communication techniques. She may help us figure out WHY we are the way we are, (she asked a lot about our "families of origin") but I have a feeling that it's not going to change our tendencies that much. We're still going to be wired to be the way we are.
But sometimes when I'm "schooling" my kids on how to be nice to each other, I realize that Matt and I need the same "schooling". I tell my kids "even if he hurt you, you can't hurt him back...you can tell mommy what happened but you can't hurt back." Hmmmm....does that apply to daddy and mommy too? I tell them "well, we listened to your song last time....let's listen to her song now...we need to take turns doing what other people like doing." Again...lesson for the adults? Sometimes, when Claire and Sam have had a really bad fight, I sit with them and pray that God would help them be kind to each other. Do Matt and I pray the same thing for our marriage when we're not getting along?
Sometimes I feel like a big, awkward 4 year old pretending to be a mom and a wife. Growing up is hard.