Thursday, July 19, 2007

Because He Loves Us

by Kari Diane Pike

I recently completed a class in adolescent developmental psychology. The class differed from the childhood developmental psych class I took previously and the adult developmental psych class in which I am currently enrolled. Those two classes focus more on the clinical side of the developing mind. The adolescent class focuses more on parenting skills and interesting discussions about how the people we serve are the people we love most. What does that have to do with adolescents? My first thought was that perhaps the adolescent mind is so impossible to understand that all we can do is learn how to defend ourselves. By the time I finished the course, I had a new perspective of parenting, love, and our purpose in this life.

I bring this subject up because for the past 10 days I have been away from home caring for my oldest son's family as they welcome a new baby into their lives. The fifth day of my absence, I received the following e-mail from our 14-year-old daughter:

"MOM!!!!!!READ!!!!!!

dont be surprised if im dead by the time you get home on monday.

i have had WAYY too many days of locking myself in my room to ignore the kids' fighting.
i am TIRED of meals from boxes and microwaves!!

AND the phones have been really messed up and
I WANT A CELL PHONE!!!!!

infact, i actually NEED one seeing as how the phones never work anymore, and right now, bcuz dad is gone, if i had to get a ahold of him, i wouldnt be able to.

Mom, you have NOO idea how much i miss you<3

i NEED to get out of this house, i have no idea how you do it. after two hours i gave up trying to stop Levi and Micaela from fighting.

its WAAYYYY hard.
:]

anyway. ily, miss you, and think you should talk dad into getting me a cell phone!! =D
pleeeeaaaaase."

(After I read this, I didn't have the heart to tell her that since the baby hadn't been born yet, that it looked like I was going to need to stay for at least 4 extra days.)

My first reaction to the message was to laugh. When did my daughter become such a drama queen? Later, I started thinking about the things my daughter expressed. She not only misses my cooking, but she has begun to recognize that being a mom involves more than just cooking and cleaning. She is learning that sometimes "It's waayyy hard."

My hope is that she will learn that along with the being "way hard," parenting follows the rule: With the greatest tests come the greatest blessings.

Our ninth grandchild was born Monday, July 16. As I watched his mother labor to bring him into the world, I relived the births of each of my children. I felt each contraction and I wished I could take the pain away from her. But the pain is part of the memory, branding each child's name into our hearts forever. Gideon came into this world on his own schedule and weighing a whopping 10 pounds, 11 ½ ounces. There were several tense moments as shoulder distocia (my son claims this is another way of saying," Geez, wasn't his head big enough?") and hemorrhaging threatened the lives of both mother and baby. Fortunately, the experienced midwives were guided in their actions and all is well.

We most certainly love the ones we serve. That is why a mother can love her children so fiercely. It is the reason we were given this earth to live on and the reason our Savior gave his life for us. Because he loves us.

6 comments:

  1. A wonderful essay, Kari! Your daughter is sure to appreciate you more than ever when you get home. Did she earn the cell phone?

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  2. That's a good question, Joyce. I have mixed feelings about all this cell phone business. She claims all her friends have one...and I thought she was exaggerating...but it seems they really do ALL have a cell phone...or at least most of them do. I have even seen kids sitting in Sunday school with their hands in their pockets, texting each other...without even looking at the phone! I think they cause far too much trouble. Kids even use them to cheat on tests at school. Am I being too "strict" and "old-fashioned?"

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  3. No, I don't think you're too "strict" or "old-fashioned". My parents wouldn't let us have a lot of things that "everyone else had" when we were growing up, and it didn't scar us for life. Several young women in our ward don't have cell phones, either, and they seem happy and well-balanced (as happy and well-balanced as teenage girls can get, anyway ;-) ). Do what you feel is right. and your daughter will be just fine.

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  4. Good post, Kari. We missed you at the retreat, but getting a new grandbaby is well worth it. Congratulations. I think he was mabe a quarter of an ounce less than my last baby, Mark. Aren't they wonderful? And fun to raise. The hardest thing for parents, I've discovered, is to learn that giving them all you can of all they want is not good parenting. True love is allowing them responsibility for their choices, and loving them through thin and thick.

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  5. Anna, you are so wise. Thanks for the advice and encouragement.

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  6. I missed you at the retreat, too, Kari!

    Congratulations on such a productive weekend! I'm so glad mother, baby and your teenage daughter are fine.

    One thing about cell phones is the peace of mind they bring parents. There are options that don't include free electronic range, but do help in safety and communication issues.

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