Ah, where to begin. Before I had kids, I swore a few things. First, I would not drive a minivan or suburban. 2)My kids would not act up in restaurants. 3) My kids would not wear clothing with Disney characters emblazoned on their trunks, shoes, or jackets 4) I would NEVER join the PTA
So, here are the current stats. I drive a suburban (contrary to every green bone in my body) ,my kids have a penchant for throwing huge fits in restaurants (despite my devoted parenting style), my 5 year old refuses to wear ANYTHING unless it is short sleeved, character bearing, and replete with several stains, and I am on the Executive Board of the PTA for next year.
Where, oh where, have my principles gone?
It is so easy to pass judgment from the outside. And it is so easy to assume that kids who exhibit "personality" are really the spawn of parents with deep, insidious psychological issues. Each and every new mommy and daddy discovers that the baby they have created comes without a handbook and with a distinct personality of his/her own. As parents, we discover that we have no clue what we're doing, that our parents probably weren't as bad as we've made them out to be, and that the parents of crying kids in the supermarket are actually saints.
There are days when I feel like supermom. Then, there are days when I feel like I want to head for the hills. There are days I want to lose myself in the latest Hollywood magazine or a reputable literary masterpiece. Legitimate escapes, both. But, on nights like tonight, I find that laying down with my kids and listening to whatever they want to tell me, is the ONLY place I ever want to be. When Caleb tells me that he worries he won't get his 10th and final star for exemplary behavior in preschool, I want to tell him how GOOD he is and how much GOD loves him. I want to let him know that life frequently comes with a lack of gold stars, but that God sees and loves, unconditionally. I try to tell him that he always has 10 stars in my book, that I am his biggest fan, that I am willing to shed my own blood for his own feeling of competence and self-worth. Really, telling him this is one thing. Showing him, entirely another. I can SAY, I love you, but if I play Star Wars with him, he FEELS loved. If I tell him he is smart, that's one thing, if I show up to volunteer in his class, that's another.
I can hear in the weekly sermon that Jesus love me. I can see it on a bumper sticker several times a day. But, sitting down to journal and LETTING him love me are different. Jesus doesn't care if I get the 10th gold star. He cares that I am who HE made me to be. He cares that I'm being taken care of, that I'm feeling worthy, that I'm fully accepting his free gift of grace. Who knew I'd learn so much about God from being a mommy? I have good plans for my kids. The best intentions, really. Yet, I know I am flawed. I am human. I have a perfect savior who loves me unconditionally, perfectly. Better yet, he loves my kids that way.
My job? To introduce my kids to the Savior, to the ultimate healer of souls.