Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Zoe 101: Lessons From My Daughter

 Last week at The Church of No People, Matt topped off his month long series on Parenting by explaining why he didn't want to have kids. At least anytime soon.

I laughed out loud reading it, and not in that fake "LOL! But I only wrote that because I don't know what else to write except maybe a smiley face, but I don't want to" type way, either. Especially that part about Go-Gurt. I don't know why, but before having Zoe, seriously thinking about having kids always conjured up images of gross poopy diapers, crazy kid temper tantrums, and yes, Go-Gurt. Sticky, sour-smelling, old Go-Gurt on teeny fingers and chubby cheeks.

And I shuddered.

And wrote this. And recorded this.

In other words, I understand. In fact, I still shudder when I think of what others have told me about parenting. The sleepless nights, the illnesses, the ruined... well, just about everything, from carpeting to electronics to waistlines.

But as God as my witness, in my admittedly short time as a mom, I have yet to feel that chill. Really. Yes, there were sleepless nights, and being popped and peed on. Yet, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Why? One, because just as with everything else that has challenged me- Pre-Calculus, working at a super awful job, being married, dealing with a chronic illness- I have emerged much stronger having had to deal with it. Well, except for maybe Pre-Cal, which taught me the lesson that I should've stopped at Algebra.

Two, because I've learned much from Zoe. So much. Here are a few:

1.) Don't take things too seriously. Nearly everyday lately, I've turned around for LITERALLY two minutes and return to Zoe having my cell in her mouth. Or the TV remote. Or a corner of my iPad. Sometimes, she's managed to crawl into near disaster. My first reaction is, "What the ksfhkrfskhs!" And my second, is to quietly laugh to myself. Like my daughter, I am learning to call them how I see them. And sometimes, it's really not that serious. Or really, not serious at all.

 2.) It's okay to cry. Other times, it is serious. At least enough to cry. I'm not saying I go into hysterics, but I know, balancing church, family, etc., can be trying. Sometimes, letting out some tears is totally cleansing. It's like a little emotional reset. So when two loved ones passed a few weeks ago, I sat and cried. And was the better for it.

 3.) Smile often. Zoe is one of the smiliest babies I've ever known. Really. Most mornings, she wakes up smiling. She smiles at us. Her Big Poppa. Our pastor. And especially Keiron's co-worker Tim (yeah, she's totally a flirt). It's good to smile. Meet a new day with happiness.

4.) Be determined. When Z focuses on something, she'll keep going (even it means a tumble off the bed) until she gets it. There have been many days I've  felt weak and did not even attempt to go out. I'll stop myself before I even tried. Watching Zoe crawl, squiggle, wiggle and kick her way to her goal inspires me to do so. Onward march! Or crawl.

5.) K is awesome. Yeah, duh, I know he is. But I need to show him that. Daily. Zoe will scream and laugh when K gets come home from work. Or goes into the living room and then comes back. She shows her Daddy how much he is missed. A reminder to me to throw some of that excitement his way, too.

P.S. to Matt, you're going to be a great dad. You already are.


Maria Criss said...

Just left my Tuesday class, being reminded that I'm late on two journals and all I could think was: it was easier to pull all of this together before Fernando....literally 2 seconds later I said aloud but I wouldn't change it for the world (got some weird looks from the undergrads and the professor)
And then I read ur blog, n its like a god send...idk how u do it but u always post something right up my alley, just when I need it. God bless ur writing gift....n ur lil Zoe.....jeeezzz they r growing way too fast

Jesus-in-the-city said...

I just thought about you two today! We should Skype soon!!!

You two are totally twins!

Great post!

What's go-gurt??

Matt @ The Church of No People said...

Awesome post, Alisha. And a beautiful child! Thanks so much for sharing. :)

Alisha De Freitas said...

@Maria, I don't know how you juggle it all... School, too?! Yeah, our babies are getting so big... It's bittersweet. I'm so proud of her, but I can't believe how fast it's going by!

@Aja, you think we look alike? I'll email you a pic of Z and my sister. You'll change your mind! This was a fun post. I was getting a little too emo lately. Go-gurt is a kiddie yogurt packaged in a tube so kids can eat it on the go. I use to be a teacher's aide for 2 years. Seemed like kids always talked about that, Lunchables, chicken nuggets and pizza.

Alisha De Freitas said...

@Matt, thanks for inspiring me! :-)

Keiron said...

Wow.It is really humbling to see that our baby with her size 2 foot has left a footprint we both can step into.

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