Isabella Photos

Isabella Photos

At long last, here are some of the pictures I took of Bella playing on the grass at Forest River Park. (Dom’s already posted them to his flickr page, but I thought I’d paste a few of my favorites here. For the complete set, follow the link.)

She was sitting up pretty well; but not quite stable enogh that she could stay up unpropped. Taking the photos was quite the feat of mommy juggling!


This was just a few weeks ago, but already the trees have lost most of their leaves and the park looks completely different. Poor Bella probably won’t be doing any more playing with the grass until spring.


I love that smile! She’s such a charmer.


She’s very intent on the texture of the grass. And figuring out whether she can get it into her mouth.


One of my favorite shots; it just captures her so well.


“Oh! Hi mom! Are you here?!?”


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  • And who was I to dictate to my son the limits of his relationship with me? I chose to have him, not vice versa.

    This seems a bit like an academic objection to me.  When I’m the one scrubbing out the poopy underwear, I get to dictate an awful lot of things around the house. 

    I think that one of the positive aspects of homeschooling is that your child will often want to have that close a relationship with you. 

  • I’m not sure I understand what you mean by “an academic objection”.

    Of course, I agree that as a parent, you make the rules and set the boundaries. But her response is to that selfish and materialist attitude which views children as an accessory or a possession or at most a part-time job.

    As a Christian parent, I recognize that in cooperating with God’s act of creation, I assume complete responsibility for the human being he has entrusted to my care. Some parents want to pass off all responsibility for the education of their child to the schools. They allow the teachers to dictate the boundaries of their relationship with their child, including much of how the child will spend his time outside of school when he is in your care.

    The mother’s coldness: I don’t want to have that close a relationship with my son, is so very sad.  That poor child must fit into some predetermined niche in his mother’s life and she will give him only so much and no more.

    I, on the other hand, see motherhood as a call to lay down my life, my desires in service to my family. At five am I don’t want to get out of my cozy bed, but I do because my daughter needs me.

    Maybe my perspective is colored by being a new mom. My daughter is completely dependant on me right now. My relationship with her is one of service as well as of love. In feeding her and clothing her and cuddling her and playing with her, I am caring for her bodily and spiritual needs and following Christ’s call to serve him in the least of his children. 

    I guess I heard echos of that in this post.

  • I’m sorry—I think I didn’t express myself well, and it was partly based on a cursory mis-reading of the mother’s statement. 

    At first I thought that she when spoke of “limits” she was worried that her choice to homeschool would mean that closeness would be forced upon her child—it wouldn’t be his “choice”.  Re-reading the post, this is obviously a blatant misinterpretation.  Perhaps the reason I jumped so quickly to the wrong conclusion is that I once heard someone talking about how she didn’t take her children to church because she didn’t want to limit their religious experience to her denomination.  She wanted it to be their choice.

    But I see I’m just making myself sound more foolish by explaining—let this be a lesson to me not to comment on a post as I’m running out the door…

  • Ah that makes sense then. I was wondering if you’d misunderstood her point. Not to worry, I’m sure I’ve made hasty comments before too.

  • Melanie, thank you both for the link and for the Christ within you that gave you the gentle kindness to read the meaning within my words. I was at a loss that day when I heard the other mother say she did not want to have that kind of a relationship with her child. I wanted it so very much but did not know how to find it. I blamed myself at the time for not having within me the basic motherly material that would lead me to that place.

    But in the past year that we’ve been homeschooling I’ve learned to look to God in my impatience, to try each day to walk the path of patience his footsteps have made. I am still learning. I always will be. Yet I cannot help looking back on that day. Remembering that mother’s words I truly can say “There, but for the Grace of God, go I.”

    I bless her each night in my prayers, though, not simply in the hope that her attitude is changed by someone else’s words just as she changed mine, but also for being the vehicle of God’s great change in my parenting.

  • Kate,

    It is a sad fact of our age that mothers are too often alienated from their children. Much of the blame, I suspect, rests with the feminist movement. In the rush to win acceptance for women working outside of the home, they stigmatized the stay-at-home mom and, more broadly, motherhood itself so that women are no longer comfortable with motherhood being their primary vocation. We have as a culture begun to lose an understanding of motherhood (and of fatherhood as well, but that’s another post for another day).

    When I read your story I felt so sad for the mother you quoted. What a tragedy for both the mother and the child! I am very glad that she has someone like you praying for her.

    “There but for the grace of God go I.” indeed and so for all of us. I thank God every day for allowing me to participate with him in the creation of the new life that is my daughter and I pray for the grace, strength, wisdom, courage, understanding, judgement and most of all the love to be a good mother, to raise her to know Him, to love Him, to serve Him, and to walk in his way all the days of her life.

    Thank you so much for sharing your experiences.