Tuesday, April 12, 2011

No two are alike

When I was pregnant with Jazmine, I was tiny and petite, no one even realized I was 7 months pregnant if I had a sweatshirt on, I wore my regular jeans the entire pregnancy, she kicked and kicked and kicked for hours upon hours every single day, I was never sick, never tired, and honestly, minus the fact that she was competing to be an Olympic Soccer player in my tummy and actually bruised me from those kicks, it was a cake-walk.  Well, until labor...haha.  But 22hrs later and a very smooth delivery, I held a gorgeous baby girl (who was supposed to be a boy, though I was the only one in the room NOT shocked that I was holding a girl not a boy).

Jazmine got started in the world and never stopped.  She was walking at 9 months, running at 10 months, counting to 10 and saying half her alphabet by her first birthday.  By the time her brother came along when she was 15 1/2 months old, she could count to 20, knew colors, shapes, alphabet, and could easily get across what she wanted/needed using words.  She was a sponge.  She would sit forever in my lap and read books with me soaking up all the knowledge I was actively trying to give her.  And as soon as the books were put away, she was on the run again.  She was writing her name 2 years ago, and could add and subtract any amount of numbers under 10 (ex 1+5+3+8+5) almost a year and a half ago.  To this day she continues to amaze me with her knowledge, focus ability, attention span, and her grasp of complex ideas.

Isaac had me sick 24/7 for months.  I was exhausted constantly and was trying to chase a toddler all day long in the middle of that.  I needed maternity clothes by 3 months, by the time I was 6 months along I had people thinking I was due ANY DAY and asking me "How come you haven't had that baby yet?" since I was so huge.  I was miserable.  By 7 months I was ready to ask the doc to let me have a c-section just to get him out I was so "done" with being pregnant.  When he moved it was slow and deliberate rolls.  And he didn't move very much.  To the point where I was in the doc office getting monitored every week or so to check for heartbeat, fetal movement, etc...

After only 7 hours of labor, Isaac was born.  He thought it would be fun to come out not breathing and give me a heart attack when they had to call the code team.  The little joker went ahead and started breathing just as they walked in the room, so they weren't actually needed.  Just a little chaos to stop this mama's heart from beating.  Speaking of this mama, something happened to me and I was only able to hold him for about 5 seconds before they took him away and worked on getting me stable.  It was definitely not the experience I had expected after the ease of Jazmine.

Isaac was also able to walk by 9 months...but usually chose not to.  He was in no hurry, and I used to joke he was lazy.  When he didn't know his numbers, shapes, colors, etc... by the time Jazmine did, I was asking the doc about him being "behind".  I read and read and read convinced I was not doing right by him.  Jazmine knew all this stuff....what was I do wrong that he didn't?  Even worse, what if he wasn't learning this stuff because he couldn't.

Isaac will be 4 next month.  He can recognize all the letters in the alphabet, tell you his phone number and address, including city and state, he can write a couple letters.  He isn't writing his name yet, definitely can't add and subtract like his sister could, and runs out of interest in anything that has to do with that sort of stuff after about 2 minutes.   He CAN use most the tools in daddy's tool bag very effectively, throw a ball with crazy accuracy, swing a baseball bat like a pro, take things apart in a half a second, tell you what plants and bugs you can eat if you are trying to survive in the wild (thank you, Bear Grylls) and repeat every step of how something was made once he has seen it on How It's Made.

If I want to keep comparing....then is my Jazzie behind?  The good Lord knows she can't hold a screwdriver to save her life...haha...yet alone actually use it effectively.  Her aim leaves something to be desired, and she can't throw a ball that well, and is terrible at swinging a baseball bat.

My point is that my children are very different.  I am finally almost at peace with that...celebrating what they are great at, encouraging them in what they need help with, and taking advantage of what they are interested in currently to grow their little minds.  I can't force Isaac to write all his letters....Lord knows I have tried with an epic fail.  I can't make Jazmine be better with her hands and more athletic.  I have tried that, also with an epic fail.

My amazing children are who they are and they are PERFECT just as they are.  I am trying to stop Googling, stop being a perfectionist, stop comparing....just enjoy who they are and where they are.  And I get better at it every day.  


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Wasting my gift

I am not a boastful person, so these couple paragraphs are going to be uncomfortable for me to write in a way. I usually underplay most of my accomplishments. Truth be told, I feel guilty about them most days. I am by no means anyone that people would consider "gifted" but I have been blessed enough to be successful at pretty much whatever I set my mind on.

Sports came easy to me. Softball, soccer, dance, karate, running....if I wanted to do it, I could. And pretty darn well. In school I basically got straight A's. It's not like I was one of those people who didn't have to study, because I did. But not too much. My friends would take hours and hours on their chemistry or calculus homework, I was done in an hour or so. At times, teachers played favorites to me because I did catch on so quick. I felt bad for the other students.

In my work life, I was blessed there, too. I started out as a hostess in a restaurant, but I was a good one. I could clear a lobby and fill an entire restaurant in a matter of minutes. Actually, I was so good at my job, other restaurants in our chain would call and ask me to come be lead on expected busy nights. I worked hard and worked my way up the ladder. Hostess, server, supervisor, manager, corporate trainer, general manager.... If I wanted it, I got it. By the time I was 27 I had everything I wanted from work. I was traveling, had the restaurant of my dreams, had received every award I wanted, had helped to develop and roll out nationwide training programs, I was training new managers, and I was even being sent to restaurants that were having trouble to help the management team "fix" things. And it had been easy. I didn't even go to school for it, and I knew more than the people with their nice little 4yr degrees. I was blessed.

A few years back , as we all know, I took on the job of stay-home mommy. Now, I am just going to leave that topic alone. LOL. I'll let ya know in about 18-20 more years if I was any good at that one. ;)

And it's not just school or work related. It all seems to come easy. My husband(boyfriend at the time) was running a painting business, and after a day on the job with him I was prepping houses to paint better and faster than he was. Working on our car and hubby can't get to the radiator or water pump, no problem. I'll just put them new ones in myself...can't be that hard.

I have been teaching myself some HTML and all my blog and web work is because I wanted to learn, so I Googled tutorials and don't stop until I learn what I want. And it's not all techinical/logic based stuff like I thought it was. I found out I have a creative side. Who knew?!?!? Not me! I spent 30 years of my life saying that God created me without a single creative bone in my body. I was wrong.

My point is that for the most part, I have been able to do or accomplish whatever I have wanted to. Whether the gift from God is the ability to do all these different things, or the gift is that I can do anything I set my mind to I am not sure. It doesn't matter. Either way it is from God. And what I am doing with it? More and more lately I feel like I am wasting it. I should be doing more to glorify HIM with them. How does fixing a radiator or being great at math or a fabulous career or my recent creative outlets bring glory to HIM? And if I still keep finding stuff after 35 years that I am good at, what more is there that I have yet to uncover? And what am I supposed to be doing?

What talents/treasures/gifts do you have that have yet to be discovered? And are you using the gifts you already know you have to bring glory to the Lord?