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Friday 19 August 2011

Franks North meet Franks Central!!

As the Franks family (well 8 of them) poured through the door in an excited rush Tricia bit her dad's hand.  Not too hard, just enough to let him know she knew this was BIG!  I love the idea of telling the world how you feel through your actions and sometimes overwhelmed could most definitely equal the desire to bite down on something reassuring, soft and firm.

The week of meeting some of the Ryan's side of the family could not have gone better.  We watched as our little extravert roamed the house, showing, telling, watching and laughing.  Tricia literally loved on and was loved on by everyone in the family.  See photo albums here  With some she was in their arms in 10 minutes.  With others it took a couple days but as a new parent watching our toddler assimilate, I felt sheer joy!  These are the folks who will be in her life from now on.  Granted, Tricia has an unusually large number of folks to get to know but you know how they say that children know where they belong?  Well, Tricia's remarkble sense of self has announced to me and everyone around her that this is where she belongs.  Mimi (Gma Franks) and Grandma (Gma McLennan) were love at first site.  Papa (Gpa Franks) and Grandpa (Gpa McLennan) were love at first silly.  As for the aunties and uncles?  Let's just say Tricia thinks them all quite attractive and has eyed them up, cuddled them up and snuggled them up.  Tonight she even said Maggie for the first time so clearly, yay!

The thing about Tricia is she let's you know how she feels about everything.  You may have noticed this is a theme throughout my postings but it is so fundamental around here I feel I need to touch on it often.  Humour me as I list yet more examples....

  • The bird bath is a smallish dish of water sitting on the table in the garden.  For Tricia all water is her water and this water was just so inviting.  As we sat on the patio eating supper we watched as fingers dabbled, toes stretched up, clothes came off, and our girl climbed up to perch atop the bowl just before fully immersing her lower half in the "bath".  She stayed there for almost 45 minutes all the while talking and gesturing to herself about who knows what (see pics and let me know what you think she is saying) PS - the bird bath has been moved from the table to the garden safety purposes
  • "I would like to potty train" became clear the night she peed on the potty on the patio with just her and 5 of the Frisbee team boys out back after dinner at roughly 9 pm while the house was brimming with folks (no joke like 30 people).  No treats, no nothing.  Just "yup it's time to pee for the first time" here and now.
  • "Light!!"  Tricia is a little obsessed with light switches.  Also, she loves stools for reaching things.  Tonight Daddy said not to touch the kitchen light switches.  He said no twice and the second time was a serious discussion.  The third time Tricia was rushing not be seen and all of a sudden the stool gave way, Tricia's hands dragged down the wall as she smoked her face on the way down.  Bloody lip??  No problem, this is the second round of a bleeding face this week.  The first one was a face plant on the driveway (very sad for mommy and daddy).  Really Tricia doesn't mind these little mishaps as they equal snuggles and ice in a cloth to suck on.  She is fascinated by "bo-bo's", hers or anyone's.  That said, she did not notice last night when her father had his nose broken at Frisbee, or when we left her for the hospital, or when he looked horrible tonight. I guess she thinks he can handle it.  PS - clean diapers are amazing for blood collection.

Thursday 4 August 2011

the greater good... and a greater God

Guess what?  It's not all about me.  I have known this for years (in theory) but my attitude hasn't always been on board.  However, I have the found the cure to my selfish ways.  It's called parenting and it is the fastest and least painful way to get over yourself.  The reason is simple.  You love your child more than yourself.  You want the best for them more than for yourself.  You care more about their needs, than your own.  Hah!  I'm cured!!  Now don't let me fool you, it's not that I don't notice when I have to put my own needs aside.  No, I'm not that great.  I just notice and then move on to doing what's needed. 

  • Q: I'm not hungry, so why should I have to have dinner ready? A: Tricia is very hungry.
  • Q: I hate swings, so why should I have to push Tricia on them everyday for hours? A: Tricia loves the swings.
  • Q: I don't love routine, I get bored too easy, so why should I have to have one? A: Tricia is her healthiest and happiest when we stick to a routine.
  • Q: If I don't feel like it, want it, like it or care about it, then why should I have to do it?  A: For Tricia.
Obviously my examples are small scale, but there is an underlying message that pervades.  It is the exact same principle that governs most of the lives of the people I admire the most and it is called healthy discipline.

Healthy discipline is the kind of discipline that seeps from the lives of those folks who put others first and look at the greater good when making decisions.  OK, now for a new name:  Living by grace, let's call it graceful living.  That is, my heavenly Father's grace.  Graceful living means living with a heart full of thankfulness, joy, happiness and patience.  When Jesus died for me, it was so that I could live by His grace, completely reliant on Him for my needs.  Well, when my daughter came into my life I noticed right away that my job was to give her grace.  Grace for everything, everyday.  She is two after all.  My Father in heaven, and by His example my earthly father too, have extended me so much grace in order to provide me with healthy guidelines (discpline remember) all so that I might grow into a woman who can in turn extend that grace to others.  I honestly thought I was pretty 'graceful' most of the time, but that was in my job and relationships with other adults who could take a little slip up from time to time.  The truth is I didn't know the half of it.

With Tricia in my life I can now see so clearly that I am just starting to find my feet in this graceful living.  She doesn't know about any of this though.  She honestly doesn't care.  She just knows that mommy and daddy are in charge and it's her job to live.  What an amazing thing.  She doesn't care that I have a migraine, I'm tired, my arms hurt from holding her, I don't like cleaning soggy cereal off carpets or catching her food in my hand as she spits it back out.  She only cares that I am there and she trusts that I have her best, her good in mind.  She trusts that I will provide, protect and love her unconditionally.  That I will do everything in my power to help her grow into a graceful woman someday.


How remarkable to look back and see the hands that have shaped me.  Then to look forward to the work my hands have to do.  On that note, I have breakfast to make.  A meal I prefer not to eat but have been preparing everyday now.  I think I will be making breakfast everyday for some time....

The photos are from Franks North's first family getaway to the Gleeson's cottage.  So many firsts: including boating, fireworks on the water, swimming in the lake, s'mores and more.  THANK YOU BITTONS!!