Parenting

I love it.  I really do.  God has given me three amazing kids.  Not just one, but three.  And I’m so grateful.  And once in a while I do a really good job parenting.  Lots of times I don’t.  I try to remember to ask God for grace and healing for them for the times I don’t.  I also ask Him to help me make the ‘don’t’ times a little farther spread out.

One of my dreams was to be a momma and be able to stay at home with my kids.  And I’m living it!  But it’s like when you’re sleeping and the dream gets fuzzy and blurry and at times you have no idea how you ended up in that location.  You’re at work or the store and then suddenly you’re flying and with all these people you don’t recognize because they’re your dream stand-in friends.  And suddenly you wake up and you think, “What just happened?”  That’s parenting for me.  A mixture of a fantastic dream mixed together with bizarre chaos.

Today was a memorable parenting day.  MEM-OR-ABLE.  And not in the, let’s-be-sure-to-scrapbook-this-day type of memorable. But in the oh-heavens type of memorable.  In all honesty, I should have expected something to happen today. Our family had a great weekend and God did some fabulous stuff in our lives this past weekend.  Which means someone else is ticked.  Cue dark background music.  The enemy is launching an attack.  I’m grateful it wasn’t much worse.  I’m also really grateful I handled it well.  Mostly well, that is.  Definitely not perfect, but pretty decent overall.

S was suspended.  Sus.pen.ded. There’s nothing quite like the first time your child get suspended from school.  It’s such a proud parenting moment!  Your chest puffs out and tears come to your eyes…as you prepare to scream in frustration.  Ahh…parenting.

Without publishing his mistakes on the internet, let me just say, a.) the reason he was suspended was very serious and has some hard consequences. and b.) it wasn’t an act of rebellion.  He acted impulsively, making a bad choice, and now has to deal with the consequences.  No one was hurt, but an important school rule was broken.

The good news: If you’re going to get suspended and learn something from it, I say, make it big.  As in, it should be a really clear violation and it should have significant consequences.  This situation has both, which is perfect.  A huge bummer for my son, but perfect as far as a learning experience goes.  I did try to help him learn how cool it is to be suspended.  With the exception of a lunch break, he did chores the entire time he was supposed to be in school.  He folded the laundry (which had REALLY piled up since all last week most of the family was sick); he did some cleaning and some vacuuming.  Hopefully now he’ll appreciate Gym and Science more. At any rate all my laundry is folded and put away at the moment.  Score!

If that wasn’t enough of a happy parenting day, our toddler has officially learned the word “No.”  As in, “J, would you please give that to Momma?”  NO.  “J, be gentle with the kitty.”  NO.  Etc.  That cute, precious, little boy of mine has turned into a stubborn, tantrum-ing, ball of fire.  Where or where did my precious baby go?!

More good news:  I didn’t kill either child today.  Only very minimal yelling or guilt-tripping was done as well.  I consider this a success.  With S, I felt like I even did some really good work.  On the way home from school I told him if he was suspended every day (please, No!!), it wouldn’t make me love him any less.  Not one drop less.  Sometimes I’m overwhelmed that God loves us the same way…even better, to be exact.  It doesn’t matter how many bad choices we make, God still loves us.  A lot.  I also told S making a really stupid choice today didn’t make him stupid or less awesome.  He definitely has some consequences to face, but it doesn’t make him any less great.

So S. spent the afternoon cleaning and then spent a few hours playing outside.  I think both things were very good for him.  Will this be the last suspension?  I hope so!!  But if not, hopefully we’ll have the wisdom and grace to handle the next one well.  I’m quite sure I’ll be able to find plenty of work for him!

Tomorrow is a new day.  I’m sure J. will be my adorable boy who loves to answer, “Yes, Momma.”  He and his sister will stay out of the litter box.   S. will be the star student.  I’ll win the lotto.  And suddenly we’ll be at the beach with purple sand and orange water and a floating car.  Isn’t that how dreams go??

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