And we take a collective deep breath and a few steps back up the negative spiral and try to start over with a fresh perspective. I usually retract whatever dire consequence I was threatening, and they let go of whatever whining, demanding, or otherwise terrible behavior they were engaging in that made me want to throw away all their toys and cancel their birthdays. It feels like waking up, a little- and like getting your first breath after being underwater. Reset.
I was inspired to write with an old overhead marker (remember those old things? This particular marker is an ancient leftover from my teacher days)- anyway, to write on our bathroom mirror, "God always lets us hit the reset button." I liked that the kids had another set of words they could use to relate to God's grace. Something to negate the "angry policeman in the sky" idea that we seem born with. Or maybe we develop it in Sunday School when we learn about Noah and the ark? All I know is, I need God to let me hit the reset button several times a day, and when my kids are feeling ashamed or stuck, I want them to run TO God in that moment. Hence, the neat red marker letters on our mirror.
Well, a friend of mine was asking recently how other moms handle the stress. The kind that makes you want to run, or weep, or run whilst weeping, fast and far away from the things you love that make you want to pull your hair out. And I had to laugh, because other than the Sunday School answer (Jesus!) which she knows, I had no answer to give. All I had is my memory of earlier in the evening, when my oldest had wanted to hit the reset button, and I had resisted. We had hit it two times already! And I was not currently mad, just (energetically) insisting they clean up their mess- so I had no feelings that needed reseting! STOP ASKING TO HIT THE RESET BUTTON ALREADY! And my boy (who is ready to take his bar exam) tossed out this:
"You said that God always lets us hit the reset button!" Big blue eyes, earnest and accusing.
To which I responded, with all my heart, "Well he's a lot better at that than I am! That's the point!"
And then I made him pick up his crap. Errr- toys. And we brushed teeth, read books, and went to bed. With only a little wailing and gnashing of (sorta clean) teeth.
So there you have it. I am gonna fail as a mom because I only have so much to give. And sometimes I forget to ask God to fill me with more. And sometimes I do ask, like for patience and love and a delightful lilting voice instead of a harsh one- and God seems to say: not this time. But those painful times make me remember something! God is better than me. Duh, self! Me being worthy of my kids' worship was never the goal. So kids, Mom snapped, but someday there's heaven, and I have high hopes that there will be no cavities and no brushing of teeth. Sweet dreams.
|Hello, my precious son, beloved of my heart. Do we perhaps need to hit the reset button?|