I got caught!
A fellow adoptive mother sent me an e-mail encouraging me about our cocooning, and it’s value. I got it when I came back from the mall where I ran into a coworker. It seems confessions are in order.
As a part of Mica’s community health nurse care, she went through a vision screening that suggested we get her eyes further tested. Friday was the appointment with the optometrist. Mikayla came along for translation. The closest optometrist to our house happens to be at the back of the mall. In our cocooning the mall hasn’t been necessary; ok in my daily life the mall isn’t necessary. The optometrist was kind and quick; no glasses needed at this time, and the office is next door to the health food store where I needed to get Mica’s vitamins; we’re out. (Do you here the slippery slope starting? 🙂
As long as she was being carried, she seemed ok. So I dared to suggest we try to get swimsuits. We had hot sunny weather last week, and Mica loved running through the water streaming to hydrate vegetables and flowers. She needed a swimsuit; Mikayla and I did too. Mikayla sang and carried her to the store; it was quite sweet.
At my age and size there is only so much I expect from a swimsuit; I found one quickly. At Mica’s age and size there’s only so much she needs from a swimsuit, but Mikayla’s search took a bit more time. Mica and I cuddled and played in a chair. Mikayla heard her say, “Sa suffi!!!” and laughing asked is that Mica? I didn’t know what the words meant, but my little girl’s pointing finger and funny face let me know she meant business. Mikayla informed me that Mica was saying, “That’s enough!” We have laughed and played “Sa suffi!!!” the rest of the weekend.
Some other mess up moments:
When Mica had only been here a few days, she did not want to put on the pj’s Rivers of Hope had given her, but the ones she had been wearing were in the dryer. In exasperation, I ran downstairs to get the other pj’s; encountered a pile of laundry that I thought I could throw in quickly and did. (Now I would never have acquiesced to not using what you’ve got as a parent previously, but I was trying to be responsive, and if the truth be told, I was irritated.) Well, Mica starts screaming, and I run back up two flights of stairs to find a dripping from the tub Caleb asking gently what’s wrong to a four-year old backed against the wall screaming and trying ineffectively to put her own zoot suit on. No attachment points earned in that moment.
Oh, and it doesn’t just include my family. Two pleasant women had one of the older kids bring a parent to the door. I quickly asked if they are with the religious group I assumed they were with. Upon confirmation I said, “Look, I’m not going to join your group, and I need to take care of my child. I don’t have time to chat.” Can you say, “RUDE?”
There’s more to tell, but hopefully you catch on that I am still a normal parent with normal reactions while we are trying to intentionally love and connect deeply with our newest child. Pace of life drastically slower, household openness greatly reduced. Now our lives are fast paced and our home is basically open, so it’s not a clean slate but effort has been made.
All in all we have had an amazing first month with Mica, and I am so thankful for the love and care she has received that make her open to love, play, life.
The falling short of the cocooning ideal, of the parenting ideal, of the hospitality ideal are when I am reminded that God’s grace is sufficient (Sa Suffi!). In my weakness He is strong. Years ago my mother gave me great advice, it’s ok to mess up as a parent. Then your children learn to navigate their own mistakes as you navigate yours.
When my children’s health issues made it clear that neither I or the medical professionals could fix all that ailed them, I accepted the chasm between what I want to do as a parent and what I can do. Some things the child, some things the Lord Himself are the only ones who can make the shift.
So these are the confessions of an imperfect cocooner who believes that Jesus’s grace bridges the chasm.