Thursday, July 18, 2013

Thank you Cheyenne

I loved this video and its premise: At the birth of each child, is the birth of a mother. How true that is! It caused me to pause, and I wanted to celebrate my oldest daughter, who made me a mother.

My dear little Cheyenne is not like most other kids. She is what some people call "difficult" or other people call "a free spirit." She's the one where people will watch her and then give her back and say, "you have your hands full." I'm not proud to admit having her as a child has been hard for me to come to grips with. Before I had her, I was sure I would have well-behaved kids, or at least, know how to train them. I myself had been a very obedient child, so I expected nothing less. Then I went to play group, and I realized that Cheyenne was the most aggressive. The meanest, the most out-of-control. Sometimes I would come home from social functions and cry.

Many times I have been at a loss. My sister Sarah has been a boon to me in this stage. She too has a "difficult child," except hers is now 8. I remember Sarah as a young mom. I was pretty sure I had her pegged. She was a bad mom and she let her kids run wild. She didn't know how to parent (I cringe now thinking how judgmental and wrong I was. And sigh a little knowing I probably generate those same thoughts in other people). Sarah tells me we are going through Parenting 501 while many of our friends and family are going through Parenting 202. I believe her. Sarah tells me these are the kids that have strong personalities, they don't blend in with the crowd. They can go on to do great things because they aren't used to sitting on the sidelines. Cheyenne is one of these.

And how grateful I am for Cheyenne! Just like another part of my life where I had to quickly learn to adapt, things stare me in the face that I HAVE to figure out. If I had a mild mannered kid, I don't know that I would notice as much or even care. If my child did conform to what "most people's kids do" I would not have learned the countless invaluable lessons that have already changed my life forever.

I have learned how much Heavenly Father loves his children. How kind, loving and patient he is. He never loses his temper. How grateful I am for a Father like him. Cheyenne shows me what godly love towards another person is supposed to look like, and that it is not dependent on how that person acts.

I have learned how incredibly unique each of our situations are, and how God really is the only one who can understand and judge us. I cannot judge one's efforts, for God has a great work for each of us to do, and I do not know the burdens they have been given. Parenting needs love and encouragement. 

I have learned that godly parenting is not for the faint of heart. It takes hours of concentration and discussion. Hours in prayer as a couple and alone, it humbly brings you to your knees because you are at a total loss as to what to do, how to help. And God does care, for you and for your child, and gives direct instructions or great resources that are answers to prayers.
          Speaking of great resources... these two articles (here and here) have been a great help to me recently with this "spirited child" of mine.

I am not perfect. We have a lot of bad days, you and me, Cheyenne. There are lots of tears on your side and on mine. Sometimes the hours of this "concentration-heavy" parenting get to me and it breaks down. I'll get distracted and you'll destroy something. You'll push your sister over because I haven't spent time with you that day. I apologize to you a lot, you are my guinea pig. But the pure spirit of Christ that was born in you is so forgiving, and we begin again.So thank you Cheyenne for the lessons you have already taught me. And as I am your mother and you my oldest child, I hope to learn from you for many, many more years.


Your Mother


  1. Oh, I needed to read this. I too have a "difficult child". Everyone always just tells me to let her run around till she wears herself out. The problem...she never. wears. out. Ever. I have felt like such a bad mom at times. It was so nice to have someone help me put gain a little perspective. Thank you.

  2. Miyah is a lot like you described Cheyenne. You have a really good perspective on it. I might need to work on my attitude a little more too. Like you said, these kids won't be sitting on the sidelines. I also was really obedient and sort of expected that ... I think she gets her free-spiritedness and high energy from the West side. :) Thanks again Ashely. :)