“Mama, can you show me how to spread it out?” the little voice asked.
“Spread what out?” I replied.
“On the painting.”
Kae turned four yesterday. Her best friend, Neil, gave her a set of watercolors and a pad of pictures to paint. She requested we pull out these gifts first thing this morning.
I tried to give her a little instruction about cleaning the brush with water between colors and wiping it off before moving on. We ended up with puddles of colored water everywhere. (Good thing I left the plastic tablecloth on after her party last night.) Then, just before cleaning up, I attempted to demonstrate how it’s like “coloring” with paint.
She seemed satisfied until she found me ten minutes later with her question. She’d obviously been thinking about this problem for a long time. Ten minutes is like two hours in four-year-old time, after all.
My response about learning to spread out the paint:
“Sure, honey. I’ll help you again later this week. We’ll learn together.”
As I said those words, I caught myself. See, Kae is not the only little girl in my house that is growing up fast. Her older sister, Kyla, turned eight in November. As she explores being a young lady, instead of a little girl, I wonder if I have the ability to walk her through the changes.
Given my recent discovery about shame and body issues, I have my doubts. More than that, I kind of feel like I need to hurry up and “figure this thing out” so I can answer Kyla’s surely-coming questions.
Nothing like demanding the Holy Spirit move on your time frame. Yeah, that’ll work.
But what if it’s not like that? What if we learn together from our Teacher?
I’ve painted with watercolors before but I don’t know how to instruct someone with a tiny-fingered hand in how to do it. In that way, we’re going to have to learn together. When Kyla doubts her worth because some kid, or even well-meaning adult, makes a hurtful comment, we’ll need to look at the Truth. Together.
Parenting doesn’t mean having all the answers; it means seeking out the One who does. Believing He will show me, moment by moment.
I’m a bit unsure in this next season. Just as little Kae pondered her concern, I find myself doing the same.
What does it take to raise wholehearted women? I wonder. How can I help my precious little women see themselves as God does? How do I help myself?