It’s my party.

And I’ll let my baby cry if she wants to.

I get that the whole thing in parenting is that everyone just does what’s “right for their family.”
“That’s cool. Do whatcha gotta do.”

As some of you might have noticed, we’re the super purposeful type of folk over here. We tend to over think things, over analyze, and sometimes be too intentional about things. {That can keep you from being able to relax, sometimes, ya know.}
So, I wanted to share some of the reasoning behind why we’ve chosen to do some of the things that we do for our family – the things we think are right for our family. Maybe they’re right for yours, too?

I thought I’d start with crying.
Because, as most people know, babies do that.
Some babies do that a WHOLE lot.
Other babies don’t as much.

The one thing that’s consistent is this: they’re communicating.

In fact, it’s their only way to communicate until we can catch up to understanding what they’re saying when they start talking.
So from the time they exit the womb to the time you first realize they’ve been saying Daddy for 2 weeks but you just thought it was a coincidence that they were making those “duh-duh” sounds, to the moment they might be yelling at you in teenage angst… they’re communicating. Sometimes, it’s loud & clear. Other times, it’s just loud.

That’s basic belief #1 behind our approach to crying around here: it’s communication.

Beyond that, we address what kind of communication we respond to: all of it.
At this stage, they can’t differentiate between emotional needs & physical needs, so they communicate about all of them, and to us, it sounds pretty much the same.

She screams when she wants me to hold her – because maybe she just needs to be connected to me for a moment. A moment that she has my undivided attention.
John asks for the same thing if I coexist with him without connecting to him in all of the hustle & bustle of our daily busyness. Amelie asks, too, in her own way.

Hmmm.

Of course, then, babies communicate about their physical needs. And maybe they don’t completely understand the difference between “I’m hungry, but it can wait a little bit” and “I’m starving & if you don’t feed me right now, the world is going to end.”
So the tone is similar for both, but no matter what baby is communicating, my response – our response – is to respond.
We react. We answer. We hold. We feed. We listen. We communicate back.

Like a Child

My little lady is closing in on 10 months.
Ten months ago we welcomed someone into our lives and she has made quite the impression on us.

In just under ten months she has learned to use her sounds to let me know she needs a potty break, and in that same time she has taught me that almost nothing I am doing is quite as important as the moments I get to take care of her.

In just under ten months she has learned about the exciting sounds that come from the colorful mini-piano when she pounds it with all her strength, amazingly enough she has shown me what it takes to both learn a new instrument as well as appreciate music with my whole person.

In just under ten months she has learned that mommy and daddy kissing means she will be treated with more love, affection, patience and tender care. While she was learning that, I discovered that reveling in every affectionate moment can make up for the lack of quantity quality time I deeply desire.

Jesus continues to show me why He said that embracing The Kingdom of Heaven can only be done like a child. Amelie reminds me of the most important things everyday and the Kingdom breaks into my life once again.