Yesterday I heard " I wish you weren't my mom." I might not have acted in complete grace and empathy. I might have thought something along the lines of, "Fine. Go pack your stuff and I'll drop you off at an orphanage." I mean maybe I thought that.
The trouble all started because I said no to painting and play-doh. First of all I hate both of those activities. One time many years ago when paint ended up all over the wall at our rental I might have
When I started to declutter to list and show the house I packed up a lot of things, among the first things to get stored were activities such as paint, play-doh, kenetic sand... etc. Everything that has a lengthy and involved clean up process. And I also might have neglected to label the boxes. A woman such as myself, so familiar with moving, might have thought this through, but I didn't. So when each one of the four children started to parade before me and ask the same question, "Can we paint?" and "Can we play play-doh?" Their requests were met with a simple 'no'.
Then the screaming began. The 'I wish you weren't my mom anymore...' Yea kid I get it. And the day was kind of shot at like 10am. The kid and I had a talk about words and they squeezed out a tube of toothpaste - cause there's some kind of lesson in that? I tried but we ended up talking about how life and death are in the power of the tongue. Our words either tear down or build up and how can we honor God and one another with our words? We hugged it out and moved on.
We recovered for a few hours and went to the park, which ended with a pretty fun nature walk, considering there were 4 kids and no stroller, wagon or snacks (an unfortunate oversight). We played in the river, picked lots of flowers, held bugs, threw rocks, all the things and it was good.
We came home and had lunch then naps or school depending on age. At some point attitudes took a turn for the worse and there was an episode which involved fighting and then a kid missing out on TV. You would have thought the world was ending because Max and Ruby was on and they were missing it. There was a show down on the staircase, and a little screaming. I just picked them up and carried them to their bed and held them while they cried about their unfair punishment. I wasn't mad, just drained. Do you know that feeling? Like you are just done being the enforcer and you might feel a little broken? That's where I was. Done and broken.
I wish there was a magical formula for times like this but there just aren't. There's love, which is hard to find when someone is screaming at you. There is grace but it seems to evaporate when all your buttons are pushed. There is empathy but I don't feel bad that this kid is missing TV because they punched their sibling unprovoked. Above all though there is peace from Holy Spirit. In the face of trouble I don't have to be out of control in my emotions when my little one (who is big enough to know better) is acting out.
As I think back over this child's life, I remember my swollen belly, labor, delivery (still so clearly), sleepless nights, many sleepless nights and I love this baby. Even when they scream at me, and say they don't want me to be their mom anymore. I still want to be their mom. I wouldn't change a single thing about this child. I wouldn't change a single day, even yesterday. Sometimes our hardest days teach us the best lessons.
There was a long talk with Daddy about love and Jesus. Wrongs were made right, and forgiveness, there is always room for more forgiveness. We worked through it though. Together. I know there will be many more hard mom days to come but today has enough worries of it's own, so today I will enjoy the snuggles and try to enjoy every MOMent even if it is chaotic and loud.