Lyllian is our cuddle baby. You can keep her in bed for a good hour longer in the morning if you’ll just snuggle up with her. She will run up and hug you just because and someone’s lap is the most preferable seat in the house on any given day.
After many (non-blogged about) nights of not laying down with her at bedtime, I squeezed in beside her on her twin mattress and wrapped one arm around the top of her head and the other around her itty bitty but ever growing body. We were so close, I could feel every breath on my neck. Her hair has finally gotten long enough that I can play with it and it seems to calm her instantly. She loves to talk as much as her big sister (and their momma) but she seemed content just resting. I closed my eyes and tried to paint this moment onto the canvas of my memory – already realizing how quickly I seem to forget times such as these.
Her breathing started to slow and just as I thought she had dozed off, she whispered into my neck, “you my besssss fran, momma”. I wanted to freeze time and record that precious voice. I needed to hold her and never let go. My eyes filled with tears and my heart ached…because yes it was incredibly adorable, but I also knew that those words would not always be true.
I’ve always known that – even when I was the child in the relationship with my mom. My mother was not there to be my best friend. She wanted me to confide in her, to be honest, to laugh with her, as well as cry…but not as my BFF.
What’s caught me so off guard with this whole mother/best friend situation though – is how much I do want to be her best friend. I want her to love me of course but honestly…I really want my girls to like me too. I want them to have fun with me and enjoy my company…but there’s no Biblical wisdom that tells me how to make sure my children like having me around.
There will be days that will come around all too quickly that anger and dislike will find it’s way into that emotional heart of hers (if she’s anything like her momma or her big sister) and I’ll be the last person she wants to be her best friend. I’ll make choices that she won’t understand and decisions she’ll be sure to think are to purposely make her upset. There will be times when she might even believe that my goal in life is to simply make her life miserable and that she can not wait until the day when she’s out from under my roof…gracious that hurts my heart to even type out those situations – even as a hypothetical.
As I sit and think back on these moments, I can’t help but see the parallels in my walk with my Father. How I love to call Him my best friend when I’m cuddled up with Him, walking with Him hand in hand…but turn a corner and a decision doesn’t pan out the way I expected – then that relationship can look so differently from my perspective. My emotions can change and my attitude to boot. I can sit here and type in my “wisdom” in referring to parenting my three year old but that wisdom dissipates when I suddenly can start acting like a toddler myself. Geez. Lessons hurt just as much if not even more so as an adult don’t they?
Lyllian, (& Ryleigh this goes to you too, my 6 year old going on 15), I will not always be your best friend. I am not called to be. It would not be fair to you…it would not be obedient to the One who has entrusted you to me and to your daddy. We will love you…unconditionally – to the moon and back more times than you can count. We will make mistakes. Big ones. Small ones. Ones we have to apologize for and ones none of us may even realize until you get older and possibly have children of your own. But I do want to point you to the Father. He won’t mess up. He will be there even when I want to be and I’m not (because even though it pains me to say so – I won’t always be there). He will be your Father and your best Friend. Your Confidant, your Savior, your Rock, and your Redeemer…He will be every single thing you have ever needed and will ever need. And anything He allows me to be for you in the in between – believe me, I’m there. With bells on – and sometimes tears – but always a grateful heart.
When you want to call me your “bess frann” then that’s awesome and if you want to act like you don’t know – then, sorry, tough luck, because that’s never gonna fly.