Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Lifegiver stream of consciousness...

Young Thomas and His Mother by Mary Cassett
I'm doing a Bible study right now called Five Aspects of Woman by Barbara Mouser.  One of the aspects is Lifegiver and has much to do with motherhood.  It made me think of the little "rules" you develop over time as a mother.  As I started writing, I was surprised by some of what came to mind.  Some things are more obvious.  We will go to all sporting events, awards banquets, performances,..., because my parents went to all of my stuff, and it meant a lot to me.  Some of it is less obvious.  I am generous with band-aids (against my cheapskate grain) because I read something by Anne Lamott.  She decorated a shoebox with band-aids as a symbol of her childhood where her parents didn't have much money and were tight-fisted with them.  When my kids are in therapy someday, I don't want them decorating their shoeboxes with band-aids.  If I make a dessert for an event or a friend, I always make some for the boys because a friend told me about a childhood friend of hers who was hurt because his mom frequently made desserts for others and they could never have a piece.  Some of this has come from my parents, some from books (never turn down a freely offered gift from a child comes from Anne Shirley), some from the Bible, some from wise people.  The truly stunning nuggets of wisdom (like having an opinion about Star Wars vs. Power Rangers) come straight from me.
  • Be generous with band-aids.
  • Be gentle with rowdiness, emotional anger and accidents.
  • Pounce like a she-cat on lying, disrespect and unkindness.
  • Sympathy and a band-aid go a long way.
  • Always stop what you're doing when someone wants a hug.
  • In chaos, ask yourself, "What's the needful thing?"
  • Send the boys out to the car so they don't become casualties of the running late rush.
  • Read them good books.
  • The joy of the Lord is your strength.
  • Spend five minutes with a needy child first, then cook dinner.
  • When you make a dessert for a friend or an event, set some aside for the boys.
  • Take nightmares seriously.
  • Don't try to talk them into cheering for the Aggies.
  • Don't wrestle with them.  You're going to get hurt, and it'll piss you off.
  • Wake up before them.  It's easier to be glad to see them when they're only interrupting kitchen chores.
  • Stop a child, and offer him an out when you know he's about to lie.
  • Tell them the things you love and respect about their father.
  • A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
  • When someone loses their temper, ask, "Is what you're doing right now helpful?"
  • Exercise alleviates a lot of behavior problems.  An overloaded schedule exacerbates them.
  • Love covers a multitude of sins.
  • Remember boys are fragile, too.
  • Ascribe optimistic motives and emotions to new baby siblings:  "Oh, look, he's crying because you're leaving."
  • Foster their relationships with grandparents.
  • Let your husband be that guy who decides they can have ice cream tonight.
  • When asked who would win a fight between Star Wars and the Power Rangers, have an opinion.
  • Be diligent in disciplining them.
  • Have a nuclear option.
  • When they whine, make it worse.
  • Always give praise when they succeed in an area that's difficult for them.
  • Never lie to them.
  • Make sure they read the book before they watch the movie.
  • Ask for the best nurse when someone has to get bloodwork.
  • Be easy to impress.
  • Don't force generosity.  Nudge and praise it.
  • Ask, "Who are you thinking of right now?" when someone is being exceptionally selfish or exceptionally selfless.
  • Always stop at lemonade stands.
  • Always accept freely offered gifts.
  • Praise them in front of their father.
  • When the baby lays his head on your shoulder, hold him for awhile.
  • Let them defend you from imaginary bad guys.  Look visibly relieved.
  • Ask questions about Star Wars characters, lego creations and Power Ranger moves.
  • Let them use the force to open grocery store doors.
  • Be on their side when correcting them.  Don't condemn.
  • Ask, "Why did God make you a big, strong boy?" when they hurt someone.  Help them answer, "Always to protect.  Never to hurt."
  • When someone says, "He hurt me," ask, "What happened right before that?" before proceeding.
  • Do not tolerate them ganging up on anyone, especially a brother.
  • When they embarrass you in public, don't make it about you.
  • When your husband says you're being harsh with the kids, listen.
  • Running laps is sometimes a better solution than time out.
  • Respect property rights in legos.
  • Encourage lego generosity.
  • Apologize when you should.
  • Remember that no one else will mother them.
  • Let young children help.
  • An absent father cripples a child.  An absent mother unmakes him.
  • Have some sort of discipline plan.  It gets ugly when you don't know how to respond.
  • Remember Jacob was still a baby when Bryan was born.
  • Remember that you expect a lot out of David.
  • Listen to Bryan before he starts yelling.
  • Hold Rand.
  • Don't yell.
  • You'll offer your children to the god you serve.
  • Pray every morning.
  • This is a good work.
Some of this is stuff I do.  Some of it is stuff I try to do.  Some of it is stuff I hope to do.  Peace, out.


  1. This is genius, and part of what I think is so amazing about your laid-back version of awesomeness. :)

  2. I agree with Sarah! You are a marvelous mom, granddaughter too. I don't know how you do all you do each day. I treasure the counted cross-stitch book mark that you made for me in 1998: Keep me as the apple of thine eye. Ps 17:8. You're a treasure, Summer! Love, Gran

  3. Awesome. You MUST write a book!!! Love you, Mom

  4. This is AMAZING Summer!!!! I am going to print it out:-)

  5. I am are amazing!Dianna

  6. Princess: I am proud of you in many ways. You are wise and more importantly apply that wisdom in such a loving manner. Papa

  7. summer,
    i loved when you read this to us at B.S. it was stunning. it made me laugh. it made me cry. it made so much sense!
    tonight i wanted to see what you've been blogging lately and read the list to ed. he loved it, too. you're a special lady, summer husband.


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