Last night I went into Karli's room to talk. Just to connect. It seems that we don't do nearly enough of that these days. When she was little we spent every minute together. She would cry if I got more than 10 feet away from her. But now, she's 11. A lot of the time she wants to be alone in her room. This is difficult for me to get used to. I want to give her space, but I don't want to give her distance. I want for us to remain close. I know it's natural for her to venture out on her own. Testing the waters, if you will. She wants to spend more time with her friends these days. More time doing "her own thing". But, I still want to be part of her landscape. I want her to want to come back to the safe harbor of me and our home.
We talked about when she was Aubree's age. I would constantly tell her (and her brother's eventually) "I will always love you more, I will never love you less. There is nothing you can ever do that will make me not love you." I would also explain to her that there was probably gonna come a day when she would think that I was mean. (She has seen many of those days since then.) There would come a day when she would have to be disciplined and she probably wouldn't like me very much~ but, I want for her to remember that I love her and that's why I do everything that I do. I asked her if she remembered those one-sided talks of ours. She said that she did and that she also remembers me reading "Just In Case You Ever Wonder" to her. At the time, I thought to myself, "She will probably never remember these moments, but I'm still gonna tell her these things over and over again~ just in case." I am so glad I did.
We made a pact last night, Karli and I , to make an effort every single day to seek each other out, even if for just five minutes, to make a quick connection with each other~ if only to share a funny thought, or to say "I'm in a really crabby mood", or to see where the other's head is. I told her how proud I am of her, and that I notice the efforts that she often makes to "be better", even if she's not always successful.
She's growing up, and our relationship is changing. I need to change with it, to make sure that as she grows up we don't grow apart. She needs me less now than she did when she was 2 in many ways. But, she still needs me. And, actually, it may be of more importance now. When she was a baby, she needed me to hold her, feed her, keep her safe, keep her clean. It was also very important that I taught her how to walk, how to talk, to say her ABC's. But now, the lessons I teach, though maybe not as vital as they once were, are more important to her eternal life. I am teaching her that her Father will always hold her. I am teaching her that she should seek to be fed by His word, that He protects her always, no matter where she is in the world, and that if she follows His instruction, she will have a clean heart. I am teaching her that she should use her feet to follow Him, her words to praise Him, and her mind to constantly want to learn more about Him. My job now is to teach her how to become independent from me and her daddy, and dependent on her Father. And one day, all that I have taught her, she will, hopefully, teach her children.
"You have heard me teach many things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Teach these great truths to trustworthy people who are able to pass them on to others."
"Tell them especially about the day when you stood before the Lord you God at Mount Sinai, where he told me, "Summon the people before me, and I will instruct them. That way they will learn to fear me as long as they live, and they will be able to teach my laws to their children'." Deuteronomy 4:10
"Teach your children to choose the right path, and when they are older, they will remain upon it." Proverbs 22:6