I've found a magic trick for parenting.
Heather is nearly three. Recently she has become (a-hem) quite a bit more high maintenance in the conversation department. As in, she constantly asks questions that have no answers, takes thirty to sixty seconds to spit out a question, feels left out every time Eric and I are talking and interrupts us constantly only to freeze up as soon as we direct her attention to her, and repeats everything I say and everything she says three or four or twenty times.
I'm grateful to have her. I wouldn't trade that girl for the world. I love being her mom.
But sometimes I think I might go crazy.
Tonight, as I was mulling over the day, I realized that I had done really well. I hadn't lost my temper or even gotten too terribly annoyed with Heather all day. I had been able to redirect her energies into areas where she was able to help me with the things I needed to do, and I had taken the time in the in-between moments to play with her, and talk with her, and enjoy her. For Heather's part, she had been more obedient, easier to parent, and just so funny in the things she said, even the second or seventeenth time around.
It turned out to be a really good day.
As I thought through what had gone differently, I realized that both last night before I went to bed and this morning before I started the day, I had specifically asked to be blessed with patience with my little whirlwind of a Heather.
Now, I've been a believer in the power of prayer for a long long time now. But, I guess I'd kind of forgotten that Heavenly Father is able to help me with the little troubles and hardships in my life as well as the big ones.
But boy, did He ever.
(In Matthew 10:29-31 we read: Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.)