Sarah Styles Bessey is hosting a Practices of Parenting Carnival. I've never participated in a blog carnival before, but this topic is right up my alley: "Basically, we're all sharing the stuff that we do - or try to do - to help us enjoy parenting right now."
Several parenting practices are dear to me. We snuggle together in the mornings, all four of us, several times a week. We have dance parties in the living room. We eat dinner together most nights. I trust Ben's excellent fathering instincts. When I'm in the passenger seat of the car, I often turn around to Juliette and smile at her. We read books, and then we read more books, and then we read even more books. We stay with them until they are asleep. We carefully discerned where we are called to live and serve, and feel incredibly blessed to have been woven into a church community in which our girls are safe and loved. We know better than to try to parent alone.
We are imperfect parents, for sure, but we do the daily work of confession and forgiveness that gives us the grace to go on, quite happily.
One of the most enjoyable things I do as a mother is sing to my daughters.
I sing from my beloved Chalice Hymnal. I sing from the old elementary school music textbook that my own mother used to sing me to sleep. We sing together: Christmas carols, Johnny Appleseed. Lady Gaga.
And we sing the songs I've made up about my darling daughters.
I wish I'd thought to put a spot of lipstick on, but that isn't really the point. Here I am, with my babies, singing the songs that are theirs and theirs alone.
(Note the extremely cute toes of poor Genevieve, who was at the height of her bout with RSV when this was recorded.)