Tuesday, July 29, 2014

some heart behind our cookies

we baked yesterday. elijah asked to make cookies and i said yes, even though it was 94 degrees outside. we turned our oven to 350 and whipped up a quick batch of sweets. 1 cup peanut butter, 1 cup sugar, 1 egg. roll in cinnamon sugar, criss-cross, bake 10 minutes and enjoy. i shared this photo on instagram yesterday and i wanted to say more about my saying yes.

i've read many inspiring articles and blog posts about motherhood, and written a few thoughts myself. about the importance of being present, listening intently, focusing on our families, taking care of ourselves so we can be our best for our kids, embracing the chaos and choosing to say yes, especially when it's inconvenient...i love all that. i agree with all that.

it's been a little different for me. my original idea of motherhood is a faded memory now. i was prepared to be that focused, listening, fun mom. i wasn't prepared for my son being non-verbal, offering nothing much for me to listen to.  i wasn't prepared for working so hard to have my son be interested in me. at first, i was frustrated and discouraged. it felt like, "hey! i was ready to be an awesome mom, and you don't even care!" i felt helpless, because it turned out, i didn't really know that much. and i wasn't awesome.

god reminded me that he himself is the awesome one. the best listener. the best source of wisdom and love. i asked him to help me. to show me how to be the best mom for elijah. and i'm still asking him.
i'm learning to listen to my son, whether he's speaking or not. because communication isn't limited to speech. learning that he does care, about everything, even when i can't understand his way yet. i'm learning what makes my son tick, what excites him, and no matter how quirky, i enjoy encouraging his interests.
elijah is now becoming more verbal, blasting us with new sentences every week! it's been a joy to see him express himself with words. i'm still not accustomed to him asking for things, it's like a surprise every time. when he speaks, i want him to have my attention. he's desiring to communicate with language and i want to encourage him. by responding well. so if he asks me to play/make/do something, and it's safe and available, i try to agree. 

"make cookies, mama?"
"cracka egg, elijah do it?"
"good job, mama!"

i say yes because i want him to keep asking me. i want to delight in him, and i want him to see my joy. to connect with him. i want him to know that he's important exactly as he is. language or not, eye contact or not, i want to be with him. i want to know him. i want to learn his language.
my expectations have changed, my view of myself and my son has changed. i have different plans and new hope. i still get frustrated and we've a long way to go. but we're together on the same path now, and i'm loving learning with elijah. i mean, who doesn't love a way paved with cookies?


  1. I really love this. There's plenty of redemption for every crushed expectation. Xoxo.

  2. Beautiful post from a beautiful mama. Thanks for your brave honesty and celebrating all the wonderful little joys along the way. Cookies and words strung together! Praise God.

  3. Oh my Miss Hanna...what beautiful words you write ! You say yes because...you want him to keep asking, because you delight in him and want him to see your joy, to connect with him, to be with him, know him and want to learn his language. I think that is the simplest yet most profound way of describing 'mother love' as I have heard anywhere. I pray God continues his blessings on you and your family. Thank you for sharing your life ! My children are teenagers now and I find your writing very inspiring, especially on our tough days! You have a gift to 'arrange words' in such a special way that your posts always leave me remembering what's really important in life. Elijah is certainly blessed to have you. The love you have for your son comes through so vividly in your writing. So there should never be any doubt that he can feel it too, even on the tough days! lol Thanks again for sharing! My prayers and best wishes are with you as you navigate the school system with you son.

  4. THIS. I love this. I love everything about this. This is my heart in a post. Right down to the new sentences. Keep on doin', mama!!

  5. I love cooking with my girls. We are making yummy mini apple pies today! Peanut butter cookies are awesome!

  6. You planned a trip to Paris but the plane landed in Italy. You shouldn't miss the beauty of Italy mourning your loss of Paris. Sounds like you're enjoying Italy very much:-)

  7. new sentences every week! that's awesome!! He is a God of wonderful surprises and wisdom for all the unplanned things of life.

  8. love this. love you. love that sweet boy. you are such a loving, attentive, and nurturing mother. i've seen it first hand and it is a beautiful thing to behold <3