July 17, 2013 by greenhouse04
I discovered this today and realized that it was never posted. I wrote it several months ago, and since then Emma has stopped biting her fingers, to our relief! But it is still applicable.
My husband just had to remind me the other day that “she is YOUR daughter!”
My daughter has started an new habit of putting her fingers in her mouth. And no, not to do the typical two-year-old thing of sucking on them, but to chew them, fingernails, skin and all!
This new behavior annoys me, concerns me, and surprises me.
And, in some twisted way, it delights me.
Perhaps “delight” is not the right word. The emotion I’m struggling to define is ambiguous and complex. I feel unexpectedly warm toward this new parental challenge; I feel reassured by it.
Yes, perhaps “reassured” is a better word. In my all-too-human adoptive-mom mind, the oral fixation of my daughter shows me yet again how similar we are. For I, too, chew on my fingers, nails, skin and all.
This is a habit I can relate to, for I have struggled with it for years.
This is a challenge I can understand, for I can try to help Emma overcome it while I try to overcome it myself.
The longer I parent my children, the more I see myself in them, the more I see the common nature of we four Green’s who are not related by blood, but are part of the human family. I see the seeds of their natural tendencies within myself; often I see more than the seed – I see the fruit of the same way of thinking in my life, seeds and fruit not passed between us through heredity, but through our common status as God’s creatures. And beyond seeing shared weaknesses, I see shared strengths, preferences, and interests.
Thus, I can see a picture of my own weakness as my son tries to hide his misbehavior.
I can marvel at how similar Eddie’s interests are to Mr.’s in loving nature and hardly caring about the workings of machinery.
I can relate to my son’s pressing need to make sure his voice is heard and that those around appreciate his opinions and thoughts.
I can enjoy eating cooked onions and baked beans alongside my daughter.
I can appreciate Emma’s need to be chewing on something.
With delight, I can look at my husband and say, “yes, she is my daughter!”