When it is a bit past dinner time, everyone is hungry, and I haven’t created a calm and lovely atmosphere for the family, that is when Kira is most happy. A quiet house can toss her into a tantrum faster than a finger snap. But a house full of people who adore her like the princess she is,well, that is exactly what lights her fire. She takes her shopping cart amidst the shuffle in the kitchen to make plates of food that was cooking in the crock pot all day, prepared by someone other than mom, (I am admitting that so you don’t think I get it all done) and she pushes it in and around our legs like an obstacle course. She stops occasionally to ask if we would like something in her cart. We all naturally enter her game and put wooden food on our plate. She will get in her cozy coupe and tell us good bye, get back out hug and kiss, and then announce she is going shopping and will be right back. She has her purse and sunglasses and a baby with her. Then she drives her car through the kitchen. She will take coffee filters and set the table for us. I am not sure if she thinks they are placemats, but she is busy working. Her domestic interests puzzle me and delight me.
Her next game includes our big bull dog Lucy who doubles as a horse for Kira’s babies. Kira will drape a cloth over her back, brush her down, and place her baby on Lucy’s back and they walk like this for as long as it holds Kira’s attention. This dog deserves best dog award, undeniably patient and tolerant. However, Lucy could believe that she’s earning her room and board, because now Kira has learned the correct way to feed the dog. It is a thrill for them both. The little mama stands there until Lucy has finished her whole bowl, asking, “was it good?” and “did you like it?”
When we finally make it to the dinner table there she is happily eating adult food. She really loves the dinner table prayer and might insist on having it twice, and who are we to argue with a child about praying twice? She sits next to her dad. I am not sure when that arrangement was set and secure, but he directs her eating habits at dinner. Precious. She is smart enough to know announcing potty at the table will get her down for good. Who ever is close to finished with their plate or not talking takes the turn to the bathroom with her. Once she is free, she goes to the drawer under the oven where all her kitchen toys are kept. She gets her big green plastic tray, a tea kettle and teapot some plates and teacups. We are then all graced with multiple cups of her delicious tea while we sit and discuss the topics of the day. Her cute little face turns up to us with a hopeful smile as we gulp her tea and she says, “want some more?” She is already pouring.
The biggest problem at bedtime is which princess gown to wear to bed. Does she want to be Belle from Beauty and the Beast, or Cinderella? She is getting a Tangled/Rapunzel gown for Christmas then her dilemma will only increase. The glitter on the dresses cover her sheets and get so embedded in her hair that I pretend I have put the glitter there on purpose when someone comments. Daddy puts her to bed at night. They read stories, play little games where I can hear her shrieking from where I wash my face, and then they take turns folding their hands and saying prayers. Before the door closes, she wants her “raingo” or rainbow shined up on the ceiling. She goes to sleep at a lovely rainbow, and though she doesn’t know it is God’s promise not to destroy the world, she seems to understand it is meant to comfort her.
I go to bed at the exact same time as she does. One of my few hopes for keeping up with my schedule/life is that I get enough sleep. But truthfully, it isn’t a choice, by eight thirty I am exhausted and I’ve given up on the day completely.
I can’t really remember life before Kira. I have a vague sense that I had more time on my hands than I wanted and I was creative in using it all up but there was a gnawing feeling that I needed more purpose. Well, that’s been satisfied. I have learned that God answers longings in our hearts that we don’t even put words to! If I have enough self awareness I can see how the hard lessons have always been a result of an unspoken wish or prayer. Ultimately God continues to take me where I hoped I would be and make me into the person He wants me to be. I never thought I’d approach 45 and be in head on battles about the color of underpants with a nearly three year old girl but here I am. When I have the presence of mind to step outside the conflict of the moment I see her whole life story and appreciate the hand of Almighty God on her life and I am so thankful I was chosen to be the one to receive her cups of pretend tea.