Friday, August 1, 2008

Read this, then live it out.

Children are a gift from God. It says so in Psalm 127. It does not say that only children without flaws, learning disabilities, physical, mental, emotional delays or any other wierd quirks are gifts. It does not say that only your own children are gifts. ALL children are gifts from God, and I think that He fine crafts them, is pleased with his work, and gives them to us, delighted. It would do us all a world of good if we would take these words to heart and live like we believe it. There are days when this "gift" feels more like you got a lump of coal in your stocking when you were hoping and dreaming for a tonka truck. Those days, I have to pray, "Dear Lord, please help me to see these children through your eyes, and help me to love them how you love them, and how you want me to love them today." I think that's a good prayer for everyone to keep on hand. I also think it's good to remember that they are called children because they are children, which means that they are not adults. I think sometimes people get all out of shape when children act childishly. They roll their eyes, like "What's wrong with THAT parent...she must not discipline." But that's just not true. Kids act like kids because they are kids. When they act out in public, no one is more horrified or tortured than the parent who is obviously attatched to them. I know.
Once, when my oldest two kids were about 3 and 1 years old, I was pushing them in the double stoller through the mall. For some reason they both started yelling. I don't have any idea why, but I think it was just a moment when they were testing out their vocal skills and egging each other on to louder and louder heights. (Oh, the joys of siblings.) I was horrified. I couldn't get out of there fast enough. But the man at the watch repair kiosk in the middle of the mall yelled out "Can't you control your children?" Um, how does one respond to that? I ignored it and kept walking. How, exactly, did he expect me to "control" them in that moment? Any lessons on "Why it's not okay to yell in the mall," and "use your inside voice" would obviously have to be saved for later. But I have no physical control over their vocal chords. And trust me, it was hurting my ears much more than it was hurting his. And I had to take them HOME with me. We would be out of his hearing in 5 seconds, and then he would never see or hear those kids again. But I can tell you, those 2 kids are now 6 and 8, and they no longer yell when we are in the mall. That is called maturity. It happens.
Some people are really good at being mean to kids. I think that they all shop at Lunardi's or work in the children's section of the library. But if you are one of those mean people, let me tell you, rolling your eyes and acting annoyed when you just see me coming in with my brood does not help anyone. It's not like I bring the peeps along to the grocery store because we are bored, and I'm hoping that they will grab the shopping carts and run willy nilly down the aisles, yelling like wild banshees and running their carts into your shins. Good times. No, If I am in the grocery store with all of my kids, it is most definitely a moment of desperation that has driven us there. I have tried to think of every possible way to get there without the kids, and somehow have exhausted my rescources. It is something dire, like we are out of milk, or down to one diaper. Desperate times for a mother. My heart is racing as we approach the door. I have reminded my kids of proper grocery store etiquette, I may have even bribed them with a treat at the end if they behave, and the goal is to get the items we need as quickly as possible and get out of there. Your scorn is completely unneccessary. Oh, and heaven help us if a child DOES have a fit. If I am racing to get out of the store with a screaming child, please, do not stop the cart, make a face at my little yeller, and say something like "Is someone sad?" Um, DUH! Now get out of my way!
And to the people who work in the childrens section of the library...If you don't like kids, go work in the adult non-fiction section. Adults in the adult non fiction section are likely to remain seated, completely quiet, and are not prone to random bursts of laughter. 'nuf said.

7 comments:

vic-a-la said...

hmmm...not sure what to comment on this one, but...i'm glad you got it out! oh, the joys of parenthood! :-)

Michelle said...

Vic, it's okay not to leave a comment if you don't know what to say! :-) Although I do like knowing that you've read it. I think other people read it, too, but they didn't comment. I think this one threw a lot of people for a loop. Derek even said "What were you thinking about today?" when he read it. Basically, I just wanted to start it off with the idea that Children are a gift from God, because I forgot to put that at the bottom of Ethan's birthday post, and then I just wanted to say "Just remember that children are a gift and God loves them all..." and then it got off on other tangents. But remember that I am sort of making fun of myself on this blog, well, not really making fun of myself, since I don't believe in making fun of ANYONE, including myself, but it's more like I'm saying "See, I'm human, too. Here's what I'm thinking about today." With a little humor thrown in. I have had conversations with friends who tell me that it seems like people are espescially mean to their children in Lunardi's, too. And I have experienced several librarians at the childrens section of the library who act like the mere thought of children makes them naseated, and I am always wondering why they work there? And I'm not talking about children misbehaving, I'm talking about, they just SEE a child and seem upset. I'm sure there are other places around the country where mom's have experienced this phenomenon. Those are just the two that stick out to me. By the way, after reading both of the posts I wrote yesterday, this one and the one about the songs, Derek said "You should definitely write your posts at night." I wrote this one in the afternoon. Oh well...

sara said...

I am not a big fan of people who don't love children!! Jesus LOVED children and he says we are to too!! Especially people that work at places like Chuck E Cheese or the library though..come on!!

MamaD said...

This is a good post for other Mama's to feel like they aren't the only one's. Thank you for your honesty!

Verlana said...

I have only shoppped at Lunardi's ONCE, and I can't even tell you how many glares I got... and all of the kids were angels that day somehow! Then, upon checking out, I asked the clerk, and she said it was "Senior" day... ah... Tuesday. ;)

Val said...

I know we already talked about this the other day but I have to say again...it is sooooo true. Why is it that people who don't like to be around kids work at places crawling with kids? Seriously, I've never understood it. It still makes me laugh when I think about it.

Deanne said...

hahahahahaha......I love it! It's true, if I bring all my kids to the store it really is out of necessity and not because I get I enjoy the bonding experience with my children or get a kick out of their wild behavior. :)

And yes, people with no connections to me or my family should really keep their negative comments or advice to themselves.