Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Two--Very Different--Little Darlings


Lillian and Evelyn 5 months old
 We have two granddaughters --born three weeks apart. They both live in the same town as us (what a blessing) and see each other often. They have many of the same genes, similar upbringings, similar living experiences, and share me as their grandmother extraordinaire.

Then why are they so different?
This is a rhetorical question.  After having three kids of my own--who were very different from one another--I know they're different just because they are.  They're supposed to be.  God created them to be two unique individuals.  But seeing them side by side . . .


They're both five now, but even when they were just months old we said, "Lily's going to go outside to play and say, 'Look Grandma!  A bug!' and Evelyn's going to go outside to play and say, 'Eew!  Grandma!  A bug!"

Now it's not that distinct, but pretty close. The fact we could sense this differentiation before they could even run outside or say "bug" astounds me.
We used to get them similar toys for Christmas.  It sure made things easier.  But now . . . Evelyn wants a "Toddler Ariel" doll while Lily wants a horse (a live horse would be best, but she'll take the toy-kind.)  Evelyn circled all the dolls in the American Girl catalogue.  Lily circled all the animals--and the VW car.

Evelyn likes cupcakes and sweets.  Lily likes salsa and mustard and says, "No, thank you" to cookies.  And ice cream--making me wonder what happened to her Moser sugar-gene. They both like Ranch dressing, though Lily likes it a bit too much.  On everything. In a restaurant she asks the waiter for her own side of ranch. (she's not shy)

When we kid-sit the girls, one at a time, Evelyn is content to play by herself with the Fisher Price Little People sets. Lily nudges me to do an "art project."  They both like to pick up "sticky balls" (hedge apples) with Grandpa.

Lily listens to every conversation (some, she shouldn't) and asks, "What happened to that man in the crash?" or "What's a president?" While Evelyn is having her own conversation with her fork and peas.  Something to do with princesses, I think (it's always about princesses.)

Lily loves to comment on the hair style and color of store clerks.  The best exchange was when she said, "You have pink hair."  The clerk shot back, "You have brown hair."  And that was that.  Evelyn is more interested in pushing the cart back to its stall.

In regards to fashion, Evelyn always has a matching headband or hairbow--though it's often askew.  Lily came over the other day with one anklet and one footie sock. Odd thing is, it took me 30 minutes to notice.

I haven't seen much competition between them.  Yet.  A few Big Wheel races down our driveway perhaps.  I see it in small moments, like when they stay overnight and say prayers, Evelyn sings a little song she knows.  Not to be outdone, Lily makes one up on the fly.  And they like coloring contests where I declare a winner (ack! Don't make me choose!)  But I do choose.  I honestly assess the best one.  I don't think it's wise to tell kids they're doing a good job when they didn't try very hard to stay in the lines (but that's another subject.)

I love being a grandma to the girls, and to our two grandsons, Jackson (age 3) and Jamison (just turned 1.)  They boys are different because two years separate them. But as the importance of their age difference fades, I look forward to see their differences. And I'll embrace each and every them.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

What We Do To Ourselves vs. What We Should Do

Being a multi-tasker can make us crazy.  We wear a dozen hats and try to give our all to every role we embrace.  My roles are: wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, friend, writer, singer, speaker, child of God--and wannabe cook.
    I spend a lot of time feeling guilty about not doing anything great. I dip and dabble and feel like I'm only gaining a level of mediocrity in most areas of my life. Yet how can I give more? Do more?  There are only 24 hours in each day, and pardon me, but I like my sleep!  So how can I do better and be better? More whole. More exceptional. More purposeful.
    To try to figure this out, I did a little soul-searching. What lies below are my musings about one area of my life, my career--writing books.  Yet I'm betting a lot of the basic emotions and angst I felt are universal.  Replace the writing and book terms with terms that pertain to your work and life, and you might just find your own aha! moment.
    Anyway, that's the plan.  So here goes my revelation, for what it's worth....
     The other day I was thinking about possible book contracts, I felt guilty for being greedy and wanting more than just one, panicked at the thought of all those books to write if anyone did say yes, then doubtful that any of them would be bought, cynical in thinking that none of them would sell many copies anyway, scared that I might have all these ideas, but it just might be God's will to never let them be sold and thus, take away my identity as an author.  Guilt, greed, panic, doubt, cynicism and fear. Wow. That’s quite a burden I put on myself!  God hasn't done that to me!  He doesn't want me to feel this way.  Then why do I?
     What I should be feeling is pride and joy at having a lot of ideas to offer, excitement at the chance to turn my ideas into books, confidence that the right ones will be bought, hope that they will sell more than the last and reach the people God wants them to reach, and assurance that God didn’t give me these ideas for nothing. Pride, joy, excitement, confidence, hope, and assurance.  He gave me the gift of writing to be used, and nothing can take away my identity as an author--or as His precious child! 
     Lord, help us look into the details of our own busy lives, the gifts You've given us, and the challenges that stand before us.  Help us think positively about our quest to discover and live out our unique purpose!  Help us find JOY!