Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart

10/31/2007

Parenting Across the Miles


I used to think that parenting was the hardest job in the world. I no longer think that. I KNOW that! All it took was placing 700 miles between this mom and her kids to convince me of it. I will be the first to sing their praises and announce to the world that I have GREAT kids, but they are still JUST kids. Kids make mistakes. Kids have to be taught. Kids have to be corrected when they do something wrong. Kids need discipline and accountability. Kids require a lot of routine, consistency, and modeling. Now try to meet those requirements while living this far away from them.

My morning started with a tearful phone call from my Allison. It then proceeded to a conversation with Blake that went back to Allie and then back to Blake once again. All of this before I even made it out of bed. I will spare you the gruesome details of the event, but if you look closely at the above photograph you might get the idea of how they behaved toward each other this morning. My heart sank as I listened to each side and realized that they had wasted what could have been a wonderful, enjoyable day out of school(they had parent teacher conferences today allowing then a holiday from their classes). How in the world was I to intervene, be just, serve the appropriate discipline, and set the example of consistency that I knew they needed to see all the way from Omaha? I counseled with them both, talked about their roles (that were defined by God) in our family, and let them know that I would be speaking to their father before he came home for lunch. Whatever punishment we decided to serve they both agreed would be deserved. So I left them to sweat it out until Dave made it home.

After talking with Dave we agreed that an essay would be a good place to start. Neither of us were actually there to witness the injustice they served each other so figuring out how to discipline something we didn't see and didn't have the clear facts about had to be creative. What better way to spend their afternoon than sitting across the table from each other writing about the other one and what they appreciate about them. Our requirements? It couldn't be things like: "I like your hair." We wanted it to go a little deeper than that and we wanted them to really think about their relationship with each other. It also had to be two pages in length and had to be single spaced with their NORMAL sized penmanship. (After 12 years of parenting you start to figure them out a little bit and we knew that last requirement would have to be clearly spoken in order to avoid a kindergarten style paper).

Ashley Kate and I went on with our day. I shed a few tears today over the separation of our family and I prayed for the children. Ash and I played and worked on her strength and advanced her feedings to 20cc and hour. We rocked and sang songs. I laughed at her silly attitude and I thanked God for the special hours He was giving me to spend with our youngest daughter. Although it is tough to be apart from Blake and Allison I can see that this time with Ash is precious and we get closer and closer each day.

Tonight I received another phone call from home. No tears were shed by Allie or Blake. They were shed by me. As I listened to their essays about each other my heart soared with pride. They get it. They were able to diffuse the ugliness between them and truly seek to find the qualities in the other one that made them such a special part of our family. I laughed at some of the content. I cried at some of it. I laughed until I cried at parts of Allison's paper. That girl has inherited her daddy's humor! I wish I could share the papers with you , but I don't have them. I did ask Dave to save them for me because I plan on having them framed and presenting them as very special Christmas gifts from the other one on Christmas morning.

I wouldn't trade my job as their mom for anything in this world. I have GREAT kids, even if they do still act like children(thats their job you know). I am truly blessed!

22 Comments:

At 9:28 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know of 3 kids who have an excellent mom... You should be proud! Goodnight... All our prayers to you & yours tonight!

 
At 9:31 PM , Blogger Elizabeth said...

Yes you are truely blessed! And you are a truely amazing person! I don't know you or your family but my sister has your blog linked to hers so I have been reading about your precious Ashley! What an amazing little angel! I pray for you and your family....I don't have all the right words to say but I know just by reading this that God will continue to bless your family...you have an amazing following that is backing you! May God bless you every minute of everyday!
Love in Christ,
Elizabeth

 
At 9:54 PM , Anonymous prayer mom said...

You and Dave are very wise parents. What neat kids you have! Lovely story.

 
At 11:40 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great idea...I will have to write it down for future reference...my girls are 2 and 4 so the writing thing won't work just now but I am absolutly positive I will need that tactic in the future.

Kori

 
At 4:20 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trish, What a great lesson for Blake and Allie.A very good idea you and Dave came up with. Your wisdom and love clearly shows. Praying for a good day today for you and the littlest pickle. May it be filled with many giggles,snuggles and hugs. Keeping you all in prayer. God Bless..Karen.

 
At 4:26 AM , Blogger Edith said...

Love the idea - thanks for sharing.

Continuing to pray

 
At 5:32 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was a beautiful post, Trish... thank you for sharing with us. Blake, Allie, and Ashley have been so blessed with such wonderful parents! Praying for all of you today.

 
At 6:47 AM , Blogger Sun said...

LOVE this post. I have three - 5,3, and my "baby" just turned one. I love how you all chose to handle this and what you said about parenting...I am going to keep this and refer back to it when they are old enough to write...we will need it too, I am SURE of that! Blake and Allison look adorable in their costumes. I am so glad you and Ashley had such a great day. Still praying that you get home by Christmas...Sunshine

 
At 7:21 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are so creative! It's crazy but I can't wait for my kids to get in trouble again (it won't take long) so I can make them do the essay thing. I hope you and Ashley have a happy, blessed day. Thanks for sharing.

Stacey in Cave Spring, GA

 
At 7:47 AM , Blogger Gretchen said...

Beautiful, Trish. Aren't we blessed to have future grown ups like your children???? In fact, I know several grown ups who don't quite have those life lessons down, yet. Praise God for the way He has helped you parent, whether you're in the same room, or 700 miles from home.

 
At 8:04 AM , Blogger Laurie said...

Trish,

With all that is going on for your family at this time, what a beautiful discipline you and Dave took over this squabble between Blake and Allie. And you did it 700 miles apart! What a great life lesson for them, leaving them to switch mindset and look for the good in eachother. I love it. I am sure their hearts were heavy as they had just been there with you and Ashley and had a much-missed taste of life as it should be. I am praying extra hard for you to be home for the holidays with them and Dave. And for Ashley to continue to heal and her spirits to be high. And for your spirit to be calm and hopeful too.

Love, Laurie in Ca.

 
At 8:27 AM , Anonymous April in Colorado said...

I have never, ever seen such testimony of a mother who loves so well, so righteously, and so completely. If I were a mommy, I would certainly want to take lessons from you!

 
At 8:50 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great post and testiment for your family. I am so glad that Ash is moving along. Praying. . .~Chan~

 
At 9:06 AM , Anonymous Nikki said...

Perfectly worded. I feel exactly the same way. (And have administered that same consequence before. Ha ha.) Have a blessed day and give Ashley some kisses from us.

 
At 9:40 AM , Anonymous Grandma said...

That's so interesting - a bit of history that you may not know about me and my family....when I was a young girl, my sister and myself were fighting really, really bad and my dad made us go out and pick two switches each and bring them to him. All the while we were sweating,thinking that he was going to "wear us out", but in reality he made us hit one another. We didn't want to, of course, but he made us and we did until we were entirely too mad at each other and then he made us kiss and make up. OOH - what a punishment. Well, I tell you that to tell you this....it was so hard to kiss her and hug her after being so mad, but....it's a lesson I have never forgotten and she hasn't either and today we are very good friends. Now, when I became a parent, I used the same logic on Dave and his sister. One day when they were fighting I didn't make them fight hard like my dad did me, but I did make them hug and tell each other three things they loved about one another. They did not want to hug at that particular moment, but they did have smiles on their faces once they did. I hope they have not forgotten. I was told a while back that at least one of them remembers.....I wonder if the other one does. The things they came up with were priceless and I wish I had had them write it down like you did. What a great idea to keep those memories for a lifetime! I know it is hard, but I admire you so much for being able to do what you do. Keep up the great work, Trish. I pray today is good for you and Ash. I love you both, Grandma

 
At 10:15 AM , Blogger Amy T said...

That was so sweet. You and Dave did a great job of turning something so frustrating into a great lesson, AND a memory making keepsake! Even 700 miles away, you are doing a great job, never doubt it! You and Dave are raising up an awesome next generation of your family. Almost makes me wish I had more than one so I could use this tactic! Maybe the next time he and his cousin are fighting. They are like brothers anyway, so it still should work, right?

 
At 10:15 AM , Blogger Amy T said...

Oh, and good job Ashley! You just keep on keeping on!

 
At 10:22 AM , Blogger Oldqueen44 said...

I used to have my kids write stuff like that for discipline. I bet the letters will a cherished treasure one of these days when you give them as gifts. Great idea.

 
At 12:52 PM , Blogger camille said...

Hi there,
I still want to send her some comfy slippers from ll bean. What is her shoe size? Can you email me back at cjlakjer@yahoo.com ?
Thanks! Camille

 
At 4:15 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anybody worried about Ashley and Trish besides me?

Does anyone have news?
Grandma?
It has been 4 days.

Praying

 
At 8:24 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

back from out of town and curious, as well, about lack of trish's posting. praying everything is going well and you are just resting up from your family's visit! jan431

 
At 1:35 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone heard anything? I have been wondering and praying for sweet Ashley.....Warm thoughts, Peggy

 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home