Chloe has this cute thing that she does lately...We'll be driving in the car and she'll say "Mommy!" I'll say, "what?" and then she says, "Mommy, I'm Cwoe." I know I get really quiet and lost in thought while driving sometimes, and I think this is just her way of getting my attention and letting me know she's there.
As an extension of this, she sometimes says "I'm Goose" or "I'm a baby" or "I'm Kanapawi" or she just says them all. Goose is my nickname for her, Kaanapali is Joel's nickname for her and I guess we call her baby a lot, too. After all, she is still my baby and always will be! BUT, aside from those four things, Chloe will not allow herself to be called anything else. Not funny, not silly, not smart, not adorable and especially not cute. (Even though we all know that she is all of those things!)
Well, the other day as we were driving in the car, I heard her little voice say, "Mommy!" I answered, and the ritual began...."I'm Cwoe, and I'm Goose, and I'm Baby, and I'm Kanapawi!"
Then Bria said, "And you're a child of God!" Yet another moment where I had to really examine my skill at teaching the gospel to my children. Shouldn't I have thought to use this game Chloe plays to teach her that very important fact? And then I was torn, because obviously Bria understands who she is. So did I teach that to her? Or am I letting the Primary teach her everything?
I honestly don't know why this experience made me doubt myself so much as a mother. I mean, I've definitely tried to teach them that they are children of God. I started by singing "I am a child of God" a little too often. I thought that it would be such a great idea to sing it every night as a lullaby, but that backfired! I think it took Bria until she was about 3 1/2 to not burst into tears every time she heard it! We had to take her out of Sacrament meeting a couple of times because she was devastated that the entire congregation would sing that horrible song to her! And then when she did get around to accepting the song and even singing it herself, she always sang "parents kind of dear." I think she still does that, and it still gives me some pause...am I the best parent I can be? Do I take every opportunity to teach my children the Gospel? It is such a huge responsibility and there are so many other things that require my time and attention. Are my priorities in line? Do I remember that I am a Child of God?
And I think that's what it comes down to. I have to remember that I, too, am a Child of God. And he loves me. I have to remember this all the time so that I can sufficiently teach my children that they are also dear children of their Heavenly Father. I forget this too often and as a consequence, I don't act like the mother I want to be.
I think it doesn't matter who or what we want to be. We have to first acknowledge our divine nature, and then we can be whatever we desire. A good mother, a good wife, a good leader, a published scrapbooker, a writer, and even a Kaanapali or a Goose. First we are children of God, and after that, anything is possible!