Saturday, February 21, 2009

Flower Girl

Annie, our former super nanny, is all grown up. First she left us two years ago for a full time job teaching. Then, a couple of months ago, she got engaged. We are thrilled for Annie & Chris--and delighted to be participating in their wedding this Summer.

Monday night K and I accompanied the bridesmaids for a little dress shopping. Although she has never attended a wedding, K seems to understand the importance of her job as flower girl...and she is very excited.

This grin did not leave her face as she was fitted for her little dress. (This is not the dress chosen by the way, it just happens to be the one I have pictures of her wearing.) As I watched her trying on these dresses, I couldn't help but think of what it would be like when she was 20 years older, preparing to be the bride.

I also couldn't help but notice what a little lady she is becoming. I am realizing more and more how important it is to intentionally slow down to point out the strengths in our children. It seems to be so much easier to point out the things we want to correct.
"Take your hands out of your mouth. Stop biting your nails. Please sit on your bottom. Don't kick the table. Stop whining and try again in a big girl voice. Where is your bow? We have got to keep that hair our of your face. Hurry. Don''t interrupt. Where is your jacket? Did you put your dishes in the sink?"

It goes on and on and on.

I know my intentions are to help her grow into a responsible, respectful adult--but how does her little heart receive it? I have a little pang in my chest as I think about it.

I brag on her to her Daddy--and of course to her grandparents, but I want to be sure to tell her eye-to-eye what a beautiful heart I think she has--how much more fun life is when her laughter is around--how her giving and compassionate spirit challenges me.

So, tonight I scooped her up and told her. She froze in my arms as she listened intently--those big brown eyes gleaming in anticipation of my words. And she floated away to bed with a HUGE grin on her face.
This is my daughter in whom I am well pleased.

And if future me and future K are looking back at these photos one day on the eve of her own wedding, I hope I will have been found faithful by her in continuing to balance guidance and correction with God inspired extravagant love and encouragement. I love you, sweet girl!

Updated to Add: As I reread this I felt the need to point out that I definitely believe in the importance of encouraging my sons and pointing out their strengths as well...this was just kind of a K moment. (And, truly, I fear I am a bit harder on her because we are the same gender...and I know what to 'expect' from a girl. Boys are a whole new ball game!) Am I the only one that finds this discrepancy in parenting boys versus girls?


Aleesha said...

If you're ever wondering about that "extravagant love", all you need to do is look at K's answer to Question #20. So precious!

Tee said...

All I can think about is the movie "Father of the Bride" in 20 years.

Heather said...

I don't comment often but I just read this blog (you may follow it already) but it is so relevant to what you wrote about with your little K. Check it out:

Love your blog!!


JMom said...

Oooh, Heather. Thanks for the tip. I had not seen that post (or her blog) What a great one! LAVISH...I love it!

Kylie, Jesse and Asher said...

I was a nanny for a family of three for all four years of college and their three children were in our wedding! I loved having them apart of my day. I think it's special that you get to be apart of Annie's day. K looks beautiful. K is blessed to have a mama who marvels in her beauty and savors great moments!

Kris said...

What a beautiful girl, beautiful thoughts, beautiful mothering... thank you for reminding me of how important it is to notice & praise all of the good we see in our children!

Wendy said...

She will be the perfect flower girl.

Abbie said...

She is just so beautiful and precious! I'm glad you took the time to encourage her that night!

Wife Goes On said...

I'm a little behind on reading your blog this week, but I love what you say about recognizing the need to show the kiddos appreciation and true compliments as well as reminding them of how to improve. I was really struck by your question about parenting the boys vs. girls. I have a 13 y-o boy who was such a wonderful little one, toddler, etc. He is so much like me tempermentally - I was afraid to have a daughter (Seems silly now,but true!!). I sometimes now catch myself being harder on him, because I see my own faults in him - he learned so well. Whereas my daughter (now 11) was the one who left me sleepless until she was 15 months old, very much different personality than I, and yet like you say, now I know what to expect with her. The teenage boy - leaves me shaking my head and sometimes wanting to bang it on the wall! Thank goodness we have an amazing and wonderful God who can help guide us as parents. Thank you for a wonderful blog and for your honesty! God bless all the kids and moms too!