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Choosing what grows

July 9, 2012

You know that parable in the bible in Luke 18 where a widow keeps pestering a judge so badly that he finally gives her what she wants just so she’ll hush up and stop badgering him?   That tactic works for daughters who want haircuts, too.  The Sparkette’s stylist doesn’t seem to be cutting hair in the area anymore, and I’d not yet found her a new one.  That didn’t stop the melodramatic pleading, because apparently one can die of split ends and excess length.  Today I finally had enough of the pestering that I just called a local salon and went for the luck of the draw.  The kid has a massive amount of hair, but tonight she has a good four or five inches less.

And I have some peace.

While we were at the salon I was privy to a conversation that I found a bit disturbing.  Another stylist and her client were talking about whether or not they were going to answer the cell phone if it rang.  The stylist then shared with us (me, the Sparkette’s stylist, and the Sparkette) that she and her client were in the same position because they both had daughters who “decided” to get pregnant and then expected their moms to drop everything to play the support role.  The stylist didn’t even try to hide her anger and resentment.  She claimed great love for her grandchild and that she would do anything for that grandchild, but she said she didn’t extend that to her daughter.  In her words: “she made her bed, and now she can just lie  in it.”

I don’t know if she considered that one of the things her grandchild needs most is a parent who is being trained to parent in love and maturity.

I know the disappointment of having a daughter tell me that she is going to be a parent far sooner than I hoped she would be.  It wasn’t the path I would have chosen for her.  I wanted her to stretch her wings and fly. I wanted her to be free to do new things and take risks and truly enjoy her youth.  I wanted the world for her.

But her choices placed her on a different path, and I had to quickly let go of my ideas of what might have been and instead begin the job of parenting a parent.  A young parent.   Her eyes were full of fear as she told me.  And in that instant I knew that I had to represent love that is bigger than fear.  It didn’t matter what I thought or felt.  This was bigger than me.  God and I could sort out the personal side later.

Mr. Sparky and I determined from the beginning that this sin was no different and no worse than any other sin.  God says it’s all stinky, so we saw no reason to condemn as if this one was somehow more terrible.  She would not be shamed by us, and her child would never hear anything other than how wanted or accepted he was.  But the reality is that this set a course for her life that required a lot of shifting.  Shifting in hopes, shifting in expectations, and shifting in parenting.  This would not be our baby, and we would not disrespect our daughter by making decisions for her.  This was her life.  We were her cheerleaders, and we believed that she could do this.  We would help, but in the end, she was the one who had to walk this path.

I would never wish the GrandSpark away.  He is the cutest, most delicious, awesomely wonderful baby on the planet!  I love him dearly.  His mother, like her mother, isn’t perfect, but she loves him and does for him as she believes is best.  That is worth honoring.  That is worth respecting.  It is definitely not worth being bitter because my hopes for her panned out another way.  She is still stretching her wings.  She still does new things.  She is still young.

I feel sad for that stylist and her client.  I don’t know their situations and I don’t presume to judge them.  But I do know that resentment and anger never bring about positive change.  Bitter roots grow plants that bear bitter fruit.  And where bitterness reigns, joy is choked out. It is sad to know they could be having more joy…but there’s just no room for it.

For those of you who don’t know how the story turned out, the Far-Away Sparkette had a beautiful baby boy.  She married his daddy and is now expecting their second child.  We remain her biggest cheerleaders.


6 Comments leave one →
  1. Joann permalink
    July 10, 2012 8:40 am

    God’s redemption is far greater than anything we can plan out! Beautiful witness of that!

  2. Mr. Sparky permalink
    July 10, 2012 9:26 pm

    I want to tell the Sparky Nation just how proud I am of this Sparkette. I was initially concerned, to be quite honest. This young Sparkette was a VERY self-focused Sparkette. During her growing up, everything was all about having what she wanted, when she wanted it and how she wanted it. Notice those verbs are all past tense. She has grown into a passionate, caring mother who puts aside her desires to care for the World’s Cutest Kid and the World’s Cutest Kid’s Dad. I have seen her sacrifice and be protective of her Love Nugget(s). I am SO proud of her. You SparkyReaders needed to know that.

    BTW…she reminds me of her aunt (Sparky’s sister). Only a fool would mess with her (either one) and I ain’t no fool. …just saying… I’m awful proud of both of them.

    • Julie permalink
      July 11, 2012 5:56 am

      Well, they say two peas in a pod. :) I have always said she was my daughter from another mother. Funny how the paths you take lead you to where you are. Thanks for the heads up on this. <3

    • July 11, 2012 11:18 am

      This made me cry. I’m not sure if if was the pregnancy hormones or what. I’m very touched. You and dad mean the world to me, especially being my rock during a hard time in my life. I love, honor and respect you both!

      • July 11, 2012 10:52 pm

        We’re proud of you and we love more than you can imagine. You’re awesome!

      • Mr. Sparky permalink
        July 15, 2012 1:38 pm

        I love you, too, Hannah :)

        (in case you couldn’t already tell…)

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