Thursday, January 8, 2009

Getting it wrong or right

(Pre-script: to get the most of this post, read it as the song "Blackbird" plays...go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)
Sometimes I don't like my kids.
But I don't like to say that because when non parents hear that, they hear "I don't like my kids." Fellow parents hear the truth:"I love my kids, of course, but I don't always like the behavior currently being displayed, because it embarrasses me, or because they are endlessly needy, and I am the main administrator of those needs, and I am tired of being the main administrator of those needs, or because I do not like being misrepresented in such an untidy presentation that that threadbare beloved shark t-shirt my child adores wearing represents to the world today." This morning as I was escaping into my bowl of Quaker Oatmeal Squares cereal*, it occurred to me that I had nothing to give the peeps this morning. Oh, I had snacks and clean clothing prepped for the day, but I had nothing of myself to give. And my throat was sore. And the boys were wrestling. And it was only 7:30am. So I handled it this way: First, I yelled. Then I prayed. "God, I have nothing to give the peeps today. I need you to help me. Please, please help me..." And because I believe that God heard me, and that He takes my sore throat, empty heart, Quaker Oatmeal Squares escaping with a tendency to yell self seriously, I believe that we will all make it through the rest of this day. Even if it is just be the skin of our teeth.
And maybe one day, my little peeps will end up in counseling. I hope they do. I hope they get a good one, and stick with it, even when it's hard. There is only so much I can give them. I believe in delegating the rest to medical and psychological professionals. Why do parents fear that? Didn't we all grow up and eventually have stints (some longer or more intense than others) in counseling? and it has made our lives better, right? In fact the people who shun counseling and all forms of self awareness or therapy are the grown ups who seem the least healthy as grownups, regardless of how blissfully perfect their childhoods were. I stay emotionally away from those. (And non cynics. I can't get close to the never cynical.)
And when the little peeps are no longer little, and come back to tell me all the things I did wrong, I will say "yes, yes, I did, and I wish I could have been better than myself, and I am so, so sorry," and I will think "Yay, good for you for figuring it out."

*I like to mix the brown sugar flavor with the maple flavor.


3 Peanuts said...

Not sure I have ever been over here (found you from Sara) but I love this post. I have been a counselor and I KNOW my kids will need it one day. It is so hard being a Mom and yes there are days that I am even sick of my kids..sshhh don't tell anyone that!


Francesca said...

just for the record, like once a week i say something like this to one or all of my kids: "I do not like anyone in this entire house today. Go far away to another part of the house immediately."
does that help at all??
p.s. you are an amazing mother. amazing mothers are, however, human beings, hence the human-ness. :)

Deanne said...

I don't believe in saving for the kids college. We should be putting our money toward therapy, 'cause, as you said, they're gonna need it! :)

The one reason why I didn't want kids was because I knew I was going to fail as parent. There's no escaping it. Ever. But the Lord saw fit to give me three anyway. And being a Mom has been the one thing that has truly shown me my selfishness and deep need for Jesus! And there are days (weeks? months?) that I don't like my kids either. I think its normal, but I have to choose to love them anyway. :)