First of all, let me tell you, there are lots of things my family is working on. There are lots of things my family doesn't do well. There will always be something that I can find to improve on, but lately I've been feeling the need to just sit back and appreciate the things that we have done well. To celebrate and emphasize the positive as I continue to seek to improve.
My family does well at serving each other.
I think every family tends to emphasize some aspect of life, discipline or behavior. Every family has their language they use with each other, whether spoken or unspoken. For us, it's service. My husband is the pillar of this in our family. I truly am blessed by his serving heart with me and my girls. He is actively serving us in love the whole day. He just tends to find whatever way he can to do things for us to demonstrate his love. No one would question the love he has for his family because if you walk into our home, you'll watch him demonstrate it in almost every move he makes.
As modeling is probably the largest teacher of our children, I'm starting to see Isis doing some of the same things Lewis does. Whether it's her words or her touch, she is looking for ways to serve, to comfort, to love with such intensity and such grace. I've never had someone get right at my eye level (climbing up on the couch to do so many times), look me right in the eyes for a few seconds before putting their hand on my cheek and say, "Do you know how much I love you?" But that's how she does it. And she does it to all of us and she does it because she's seen it, because we've demonstrated it.
The other day we get in the car & Isis had packed her own little backpack to bring with her. As we start driving, she starts pulling out different toys, trinkets and things she's found around the house, but I quickly realize as she starts passing them out, that she specifically went around and picked up items for each of us in the car. She had a toy for Lux, a bracelet for me, a pen for Lewis. The fact that she walked around the house before leaving gathering items for us just struck me as so intuitive for a child her age. She amazes me.
I left the other day for lunch and Lewis was home with the girls. He needed to vacuum downstairs, and while the vacuum was on, he didn't hear that Lux had started crying because she was scared. When he turned it off, he found Isis holding Lux as best she could and just saying to her, "It's okay. Don't be scared. I'm here. It's won't hurt you. I love you, girly." Again, just the most genuine display of love.
In the car many times, Isis will reach over for Lux to hold her hand and Lux will reach back and Isis will just say, "Mommy, look! She's holdin' my hand! She loves me!"
I think we've done well at fostering a relationship between the two of them. It's been important to us that they both feel confident in our love for them - that they don't need to compete for it. I think it allows them the freedom to love each other fully. I know there will be competition and arguments as they get older. It's inevitable, but I don't want that competition to be over our approval or our love. I can't even count how many times I've pointed out something I love about Isis to her and then pointed out something different about Lux that I love about her and told Isis how neat it is that they are different from each other. Isis will repeat many of those things back to me. "Mommy, we're different!" like it's such a wonderful thing. And it really is. Their similarities and differences are still emerging for me, but I love all of it.
And as this has turned into a flow of thought post, I have to also say with all of this that I am so thankful for my friends. I don't know if it's my generation or just my friends in particular, but I have such wonderful friends who are parents who are so thoughtful and intentional about their parenting. Even though we don't all do things the same, I find such encouragement and guidance from their words and our conversations. I love the transparency with which many of my friends parent - and the transparency with which they share their experiences with me, both good and bad. What a blessing to have that kind of community. I think that's yet another reason why my family does some things so well - because we've had that community of people talking to us and encouraging us along the way.