The Son is Shining

"If I could define myself as a mom right now, it would be: angry, impatient, critical, and just generally grouchy." What?? Yes, it's true. I said this to a dear friend yesterday in search of some advice.

The thing she said to me that stuck out like a neon sign was, "When you're with your kids, just be." Even now as I'm typing that, it brings tears.

I constantly feel this overwhelming urge to look at the big picture. How can I use this moment to teach them some profound lesson about adult life? If they don't get along now will they be dysfunctional as adult siblings? If my boys disrespect me will they disrespect their wives? And how exactly, is all that relevant to the squabble between my 4 year old and my toddler about a train car?

Just "being" requires exactly that. Just dealing with what's right in front of me at that exact moment. I made a comment to my husband the other day regarding the current political race. He was wondering why I wasn't more interested in what would possibly shape the nation's future for our children. "I'm only interested in what's in front of me right now", I told him. "There's nothing more important to me than taking care of my family, today." If only I had actually heard what I had said to him!

I've been doing a lot of praying and thinking about how to apply this new-to-me notion of just "being" to my daily interactions with my kids. I won't say the Lord has changed my heart overnight; I'm sure this will be another long lesson for me in my journey to being a fruit-bearing woman of God. He did however, grant me a slice of "Sonlight" through my cloud this morning.

Alec held my hand as we walked to school. I enjoyed the quiet closeness instead of needing that extra hand to push the stroller.

On the way back, I listened to the clattering of Benji's big wheel on the sidewalk as I watched him deliver imaginary packages. "Special delivery for John Brown!" he would say as he heaved one in each direction. I marveled at his creativity, his skill at simultaneously riding and pretending to throw with both hands and his total adorable-ness instead of barking at him to go faster because we were hot.

Halfway home, I looked down and saw Ava in the stroller snuggling her Glow Worm and then giving it a drink from her sippy cup. The joy and astonishment of having a daughter washed over me all over again.

I am profoundly grateful to my Lord and Savior for granting me the honor of being a mother to each one of my kids. I love them and want their childhoods to be just that. A
childhood. Not filled with growing-up lessons or the critical words of an over-achieving mother.

I truly believe that if I just
be with them and focus on just one battle at a time, not the entire war, the big picture will be bright and sunny.

9 readers took time to leave a thought:

Charity September 4, 2008 at 1:25 PM  

Wow, Shelly, that was really profound and I had to actually reread your post to make sure I got everything. I REALLY like what you had to say and I don't think it is coincidence that I happened to read this! Many thanks for your insight.

MerrandaVK September 4, 2008 at 2:00 PM  

What wonderful encouragement coming to me on a most stressfull (2 sick kids, cooking a dinner for a friend who just had a baby, making the baby gift, freezing 10 pounds of green beans)day.. Thank you for sharing. I am inspired to have a kids only day tomorrow.

Sara Kay September 4, 2008 at 3:17 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
McSarah September 4, 2008 at 10:08 PM  

i feel special ; ).

Skamamama September 5, 2008 at 8:47 AM  

that was so "well said" i needed to hear/read that. it's so good to know that other mommies have similar feelings (good, real, and hard) too! thanks for sharing!

Faith Hope Love Mama September 5, 2008 at 6:55 PM  

Well, you and I are so very much the same. Are you a first born like me? I blame it on that. :)
Your post was awesome and just what I needed. You know how crappy my attitude towards my kids have been by my last post and as I type I'm listening to them whining outside. It's hard to marvel in the moment and let them be. I'm going to try hard though. I feel regrets with each of them and don't want to feel any more from this day forward. Thank you for this bit of wisdom today. You are a blessing to me. :)

4 Little Men and Twins September 5, 2008 at 7:19 PM  

I needed to read that... thanks for sharing. :)


Karen September 6, 2008 at 4:37 PM  

What a great post! Sometimes I "stop and smell the roses" with my kids but a lot of times life gets in the way. I too have all these projects I want to accomplish and sometimes feel like my kids are preventing it, but then I remember they will only be little for such a short time. Thanks for sharing. I too am a first born. Maybe that is the problem:)

Shelly September 7, 2008 at 7:05 AM  

faith hope love mama and Karen; I also am a firstborn! Hmmm, I didn't really think about that but maybe it does have something to do with it?!

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