She has questions about everything, Why is the sky blue, Can I talk to God in the car? If God is everywhere why do we have to go to church? Why does the boy next door go to a different church than we do? Why are spiderwebs sticky? Do worms have dreams? Why do ducks like the water?
The Bumper also has opinions on everything: I like to swim. I like to slide on the slide, I don't like cherry flavored medicine its yucky! Clouds are in the sky because God made them that way! Read me the nut brown hare book, but not the weasel book because that gives me bad dreams.
I do my best to answer her questions and many times I am stretched to the limit of my knowledge and patience. When I have those days when my patience and temper fail, I find myself turning to God and the example he gave us in his Son Jesus. Sometimes I take a mommy time out and sit down and read a verse from the Bible, other times though; that opportunity does not present itself until well after the Bumper is in bed, then I pray for the strength to do better the next day.
More often, though, I find that I genuinely like trying to answer her questions and I enjoy watching her try new things. For example we went to the zoo yesterday and for the first time the Bumper led the way to all of the animals she likes, excitedly telling me everything she has learned abut those animals-- Mom did you know buffalo have hair! Mom otters eat fish! I encourage her to test her limits on the things she can safely do and she surprises herself by doing things she thought she couldn't-- like put on her own shoes or reach the tap in the sink to turn off the water. It is in those moments when I realize she is growing up and I am teaching her to be her own person and I am filled with a quiet joy I never expected.
It is an awesome responsibility to be a parent. To love, to teach faith and morals, and the shaping of a person, but I believe that in this moment that is exactly what God has called me to do and with His help the Bumper and I are growing, loving and learning. Do I make mistakes? You betcha! Do I do the best I can each and every day- Yes!
P.S. I may be a single mom, but I have lots of help-- that is a post for another day!
P.P.S. Why do ducks like the water?