Reading 2012: Loving the Little Years

I appreciated this tiny book that was written to encourage moms to love their tiny people. If you’re anything like me, you definitely need encouragement in this area. Re-reading Good Night Gorilla 10 times, spending countless hours at the park, cleaning up floating {read: “disintegrating”} poo out of the bathtub because you let your kid play too long in the water, and building block towers only for them to be immediately knocked down once you set the 5th piece all are things I have to pray for grace to do, especially the poo part. Repeatedly enjoying these activities with my tiny is not entirely natural to me. And so I found this book to be refreshing, inspiring, hysterical, and enriching.

Loving the Little Years by Rachel Jankovic is a short read of 102 pages, with 2-6 page chapters. A perfect size for moms of youngin’s. Her thoughts are concise and to the point. Her analogies and examples are appropriate and memorable. And her insight into life with tinies is priceless treasure. What she has learned from rearing 5, I get to glean while I’m still on number 1! Sure, experience will add maturity to the knowledge, but having a solid foundation going in is really helpful.

She keeps the book brief, and that’s great for moms who are short on time. The draw back of that though is that many things are left unsaid or left to your own interpretation. For instance, Rachel repeatedly admonishes her mom readers to “get grace” for this or that situation. Well, “grace” and how to “get” it are never addressed. To someone who just finished reading Give Them Grace, this isn’t a problem, but for the mom who wasn’t given grace growing up, application may be hard. She also makes no attempt to distinguish between discipline and punishment, something I hope to write about in the near future. This isn’t me being picky about proper word usage. This stems from a parenting mindset of discipline as discipleship, therefore not always carrying a negative connotation. Not a huge deal, but a trend I’ve been noticing in parenting books that I have been pondering over.

The only other major concern I had with the book was chapter 12. In her final statements of the “Me Time” chapter she writes, “Your identity is to be found and resting in other people.” She elaborates on this, and I think I can see where she is going with it, but to me, it seems like a dangerous statement to make. I believe she is trying to encourage moms to abandon any concern for individuality and to embrace their calling as moms and wives. But our identity is not found in our children, husband, family, or friends. If I try to make my identity Aletheia or Daniel, I would be tempted to grow angry with them when they don’t conform my definition of success. Our identity must always be found in the God we trust. Any other identity will self.de.struct.

My favorite chapter was “Heavy Branches”, chapter 6. In it, Rachel releases the bound up spirit of more practically driven moms {me} to just simply bear fruit, regardless of how or if the product will be appreciated. “Are you afraid to put energy or money into something that might turn into nothing? Do you evaluate the necessity of everything, passing it by if it doesn’t add up to be practical?” Umm . . . yes, yes I am and do. “You cannot know the depth of His plan for your fruit. So throw it out there on the ground when you have no plan for its future. The only thing that you can know for certain is that God will use it.” I found sweet freedom in these truthful words. Thank you Rachel.

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2 comments

  1. Thanks for this review, Susanna! I have been wanting to read this book after hearing it mentioned several times, but wasn't sure how I would add yet another book onto my plate. Knowing it's short and to the point is perfect for me right now and I think I'll go ahead and buy it next month. Thank you , thank you, thank you!

  2. sweet! glad the review was helpful. I can see you writing a book like this one day. And I think you'd do an awesome job. 🙂

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