Monday, November 17, 2008

Being a Miracle Is Not an Excuse

My daughter's story is pretty incredible. The odds she overcame are staggering. I stand in awe of this tough, amazing little girl who has demonstrated more strength than the majority of adults I know. She has been called, by family, friends, strangers, and even her doctor, a miracle.

I get that. And I never forget how incredibly blessed we are to have her here with us. I never forget that things could have so easily gone a different direction and we wouldn't have that spunky little sparkler in our lives today.

But you know what?

Being a miracle is not an excuse.

The fact that my daughter's feistiness is part of her fighting spirit and part of why she's here is clear. That doesn't mean it's okay for her to act out. It is too easy to want to "make up" for these babies' rough beginnings. Too easy to make excuses. I've seen countless preemies get spoiled in an attempt to somehow balance out the short-changed start in life they got.

But guess what?

C. gets put in time out when she misbehaves. We don't let her yell and demand. She has a firm bedtime. She is expected to eat what the rest of us eat. She is expected to share with her brother. She is, under no circumstances, permitted to hit or kick.

It is my privilege to get to snuggle and love this little girl. It is my duty to ensure that she is raised well... and that others can actually enjoy her behavior too!

C. will always be a spitfire. She runs away from school. She gives doctors and nurses the evil eye when they mess with her. She grabs handfuls of her daddy's hair and laughs if he says "ow". That's just her. And she'll always be our little miracle...

But I won't ever let that be an excuse.


FishMama said...

Go, MOM! Tough love starts early, doesn't it? Good word -- for all kids.

Kari said...

Isn't it interesting that the spunk that kept them alive is the spunk you spend the rest of their lives taming?

Ryann said...

hmmm... wishing my inlaws could read this!

Anna said...

Amen!! Thanks for the encouragement!

matt said...

You are 100% right about this. We spoiled our daughter way too much for almost a year. Looking back, its clear that we were "babying" her because of her unconventional delivery and health issues. Now that she is healthy, boy oh boy do I wish we had laid down the law a little more.