Daddy take the Heel

Some things don’t become apparent
until you become a parent.

Growing up I was always curious when my dad would eat the end or ‘heel’ of the bread loaf. I asked him about this and he just replied, “That’s just part of being your dad”. He would often take whatever was left over from everyone else’s meal to make his own plate.

Now, without any spoken words I find myself doing many of the things he did, almost like I caught his virus of unspoken deeds. Some of these have been/are being painfully removed (like reliance on debt to make your career what you want) but others I am starting to embrace. He modeled for me a heart to serve in the little things.

Lee Anne and I have a passion for many things that Jesus is slowly revealing as important. Even though these passions are good, they will never be caught by our kids unless the passions work their way deep… Into the places where we keep our true selves.

A great example of this is food.
We LOVE food, even if we aren’t goodies or great cooks, we LOVE to eat delicious things.
We LOVE healthy food, the kind that puts a spark in your step and makes you friendlier.

Of course this presents a problem: when we don’t spend the time a lot of healthy food doesn’t taste as good as the easy to make unhealthy kind.

So our kids will see us making one of two choices:
a. Spend extra money and time on healthy foods… Sometimes just eat junk
OR
b. Make the healthy options a default by totally changing our habits and lifestyle

Option B is:
Simple… Yes
Easy… No

Lately I have found myself eating the heel of the bread loaf. Somehow my dad convinced me without a word that leaving the most delicious part of the meal for my family makes everything better. He showed me that doing the better thing can actually be more enjoyable than the selfish thing. And over time our true Dad will convince us down to the little things that His ways are truly more enjoyable.

My hope is that one day Amelie looks up at me and asks me why I eat the ‘gross’ part of the bread.

What are somethings you saw your parents do that you didn’t understand until recently?

Meet the Parents.

So, I know we’ve gotten really excited about different ideas on this blog & promised to do different series on things, and we haven’t always followed through.

Like 50 Films/50 weeks, because we got rid of our TV.
Or Random Thought Thursday, because I completely. forgot. it. existed.
Or The Vaccines posts.
I could go on.

Anywho, I have been sitting on this idea for awhile that I’d like to write more about who we are as parents.
Why we make some of the decisions we do, and our journey to discovering our parental identity/identities.
So, with no particular frequency or promise that there will ever even be a second one of these {though I really, really hope there are many}… let’s get started with an intro.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I’m Lee Anne.
I’m the Mama.
I never dreamed being a Mom would be so much fun.
It seems like when you get engaged all anyone has to say is how horrific marriage is or can be… Then you get pregnant & all everyone has to tell you is the worst birth stories they’ve ever heard. THEN, you have a baby& everyone says that your lives are over, you’ll never sleep again, etc…
No one just said, hey, being a parent is amazing. Nothing compares to this kind of fun. You’ll always be learning something, engaging your creative mind, getting opportunities to selflessly love someone who you get this amazing privilege of watching ALL of their precious first moments… Like when their actual life starts. And their first words. And foods. And steps. And, everything.
And it’s just purely incredible.

No one told me that stuff.
So when I found out I was pregnant, I cried.
I thought, I’ll never just be me again. I’ll always just be “John’s wife” or “somebody’s Mom” {no names at the time}.
I was terrified that my whole being, all my passions, creativity, and life would be lost forever in a sea of toys, dirty diapers, and other people’s horror stories.

I had no idea that  becoming Amelie’s mom would just bring all that stuff that lives inside me to life even more.
I had no idea I could even love someone so much. Especially a little needy mini-human.

Needless to say at this point, I love it.
I love being a Mom.
And I never dreamed I would, so much.

After I got over the shell shock of an unexpected pregnancy
{we used condoms literally every. single. time. Except the ONE time that we got pregnant with Amelie, of course. TMI? Sorry. Moving on…}
I dove head first into finding out what all this Mom stuff was about…
What are babies like? What do they need? What should I eat so that my baby would have the best chance at being healthy? Smart?
What do I do after it comes out? How should it come out? Do I breastfeed or bottle feed? When do I start feeding it food?
So many questions came up, all the time.
If it’s a boy, do we circumcise? Do we vaccinate? Do we cloth diaper or paper diaper? Do we spank? What does loving discipline look like?

Man, oh man.
There are a lot of questions to be asked & answered  if you want to try to prepare yourself.
And I did.
And I surrounded myself with women who were looking for the answers to these questions. Or, women who had put a lot of thought into them & had hearts willing to share encouragement about the wisdom they thought they’d found.

I quickly started to discover my Mom-identity.
I fell into a category that’s not really the “norm.”
I was met with a lot of discouragement & hard hearts toward some of the ways we felt strongly were right for us to parent our coming child. We’re still met with some of that opposition, though we’re much more well equipped to handle it, now.

Here’s a short list of some of the ways we chose to parent that aren’t necessarily in line with going with the flow:
{PS – if there’s a term you aren’t familiar with, click the link to learn more.}
Cloth diapering, breastfeeding, baby-led weaning, elimination communicating, non-vaccinating, home birthing {even though that wasn’t our end result it was our attempt}, bed sharing, babywearing, responding to baby’s crying, and much more, soon to come.