The Truth.

                                                          Ugh.  

I hate being imperfect.  I don’t think most people would think me a perfectionist.  I don’t really fit into that box.  But maybe I’m a lazy perfectionist, if that exists.  My imperfection drives me crazy… but I guess not crazy enough to improve too much upon. 

                                                       I repeat… Ugh.

Last night, I was tired and hot and just plain worn out.  It was past bedtime and Isaac was looking for any excuse not to get ready for bed, as usual.  I told the boys to get their jammies on and brush their teeth while I was finishing the dishes.  Isaac came into the kitchen sniffing and obviously wanting my attention.  I chose to ignore him because I don’t want to encourage that kind of behavior.  I’d rather, he verbally ask for help than wait for me to acknowledge his sadness. But as time ticked away and he still wasnt getting ready for bed, I decided to ask him what was wrong.

“My fingernail bent back,” he said.  I told him I’m sorry, I know that hurts, but to man up and get ready for bed and I went back to doing the dishes.

The truth is: I’m really a very heartless person.  I don’t know why people think mercy is one of my top spiritual gifts.

That’s when Isaac started crying.  Tears were falling down his face and it occurred to me that sometimes all a kid needs is a kiss from his momma.  So I stopped what I was doing and hugged him and told him again that I was sorry he hurt his finger.  I asked him how it happened and we came to the conclusion that it was really just a hangnail.  I told him that I know how much those hurt but there’s not a whole lot we can do about it.  I tried to cut it off, but it was too close to the skin so I found a General Grevious band aid, gently put it on and lovingly told him I was sorry but to get ready for bed.

I went down to finish the dishes and kept sending up reminders to “do a great job on your teeth.”  Asher replied that they were already finished so I told them to get in bed and I’d be up in a second.

I finished the dishes and put everything away and went upstairs about 15 minutes later.  When I came upstairs, Isaac was sitting on the floor playing with his legos and Asher had just made a mad dash for the nearest bed.

I was angry.  I completely lashed out at both boys, but Isaac got the brunt of it.  He immediately started blaming Asher and when we moved past that point, started complaining that his band aid was falling off and he wanted another one.

I told him again to man up and get in bed and if the first band aid didn’t last, a second one wouldn’t either.  I kissed them both and tucked them in and angrily prayed for the boys to go to sleep quickly and to learn to obey.  Do you think that kind of prayer works?

I went downstairs to watch my show, but the computer hadn’t recorded it.  So I’ll have to wait another 30 days before they post it online.  That was upsetting as well.  But then Isaac came down stairs again asking for another band aid.  I was so angry.  I grabbed another band aid and put it on and it immediately wouldn’t stick to his thumb and I told him to just go to bed.  “I LOVE YOU!” I yelled.  “BUT I’M ANGRY.  GO TO BED!  I LOVE YOU, BUT GO TO BED!” I yelled.

Isaac’s and my personalities completely clash.  I do not know how to parent him.  We’re still having the same old battles over who is stronger willed.  I still feel like I have to show him that he can’t out stubborn me.  Randall, lovingly reminds me to choose my battles and not to discipline his personality, but the behavior.  But I honestly don’t understand his personality.  He is weird and overly energetic and 7 and I don’t even remember being 7 and my mom tells me I was never as energetic as him.  And his behavior is blatantly defying his mother, the authority figure.  And you can’t succeed in life, without acknowledging and respecting other authority.  Right??

  No seriously, can someone please just tell me how to parent my children?

Anyway.  I eventually cooled down, and regretted every action that had taken place.  I wanted to make things right before I went to bed.  I went to his bed, and he was sleeping deeply.  I whispered, “I love you.  I’m sorry,” in his ear. He stirred, but was not conscious.  I repeated myself and hugged him and carressed his sweet face.  I didn’t feel forgiven and went to bed sad.

I woke up first thing in the morning and curled up next to him in bed.  I told him I was sorry I was so angry last night.  I asked for his forgiveness and in typical Isaac fashion, his energy got the best of him and he jerked his head back and conked me in the forehead.  I pushed his head out of the way and tried really hard to keep my same “begging for forgiveness” tone.  “Do you forgive me?” I asked.  “No,” he said.  I asked why not and he told me it was because I flicked his head.  I explained that he had just given me a bruise on my forehead and I was pushing (with a flat hand) his head away from my face so he wouldn’t do it again.  He said, “Ok.  I forgive you,” and we went on with our day.

 

Seven year old boys with too much energy that don’t seem to like you at all are hard to love sometimes.  And that’s the truth.

 

It is by God’s grace that I have this beautiful son.  It is by God’s grace for me, that I know how to love this boy.  He is very sweet and very smart and I love his creativity and when he allows me to touch him, I hold him tight and cherish those moments. And when he refuses to let me touch him, I don’t mind too terribly much, because I sneak into his room every night and squeeze him tight and whisper my love into his ear, praying, at least in his sleep, that he knows he is loved by me.


Here’s my conclusion on how to parent two boys: First and foremost, pray a lot.  Pray for patience, pray for forgiveness, pray for health, and pray that you all will make it through the day.  Pray for him, that he will grow and learn and understand your love for him.  Pray for you, that you will make wise decisions and teach him how to be a godly man, and my most common prayer: that I won’t screw them up.                    

              Though I’m sure it’s too late for that…

Secondly, be honest.  Tell him you screwed up and you’re sorry.  Ask for forgiveness as often as you need to.

Thirdly, tell him you love him.  You know it’s true, but sometimes you need to say it out loud to remind yourself.  And if you’re having a hard time remembering that you love him, he’ll definitely need to know that it’s still true. Say it often.  But mean it when you say it… or say it until you mean it.  Just make sure he hears it in all situations. 


The truth is, we are all imperfect.  There is no perfect parent.  And even one that knows exactly how to handle their kids, gets frustrated and screws up every once in a while.  And there is no such thing as “Perfectly Imperfect.”  What does that even mean?!  

 


Isaac I love you when you pummel me with darts.  I love you when we’re at each others throats.  I love you when you listen to the same annoying song over and over and over again.  I love you when you’re awake and when you’re asleep.  I love you because you are sweet and smart and so creative and fun, but you don’t have to be any of those things.  You don’t have to earn my love.  I love you because you are you and you are my son.  There is nothing you can do that will ever stop me from loving you.  And that’s the truth.

 

Found

So…

I found the missing SD card.  I looked for it everywhere.  I know you always find something in the last place you look (because you stop looking after you find it), but I found the SD card in the last place available to look.

After looking in every room in the house, under every piece of furniture, in every drawer possible, I looked in the recycling trash can in our garage.  Nope. Finally, my last resort, was in the trash can.  Luckily, there was only one full trash bag in the trash can.  I opened it up and had to cover my face as the smell wafted up from the warm trash.  I saw my old favorite sandals, picked them up and underneath them, was the card.

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It smelled a bit like peanut butter and jelly, but it was fully in tact.  Just waiting to be found.

Here’s what we would have missed if I hadn’t found this card.

 

That pic from that exotic island we went to.

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This friend publicly announcing who’s team he’s on.

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This sweet face.

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This sweet face.

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This personality.

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This…  Oh my…

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And this latest family portrait.

This one?

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Or this one?

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Either way, glad I found it.

Absent Minded

Note to self:

Any time that you think to yourself, “I’m going to put this object in a special place, so I’ll remember where it is next time,”  Slap yourself.

That’s a stupid idea.  You’ll never find it again.

I have a tendency of doing that.  It’s something I thought I’d grow out of, but haven’t.

I’m not really absent minded.  I don’t mean to lose track of things, I just get distracted.

For example, the other day, I was picking up the house while the boys were playing with some neighborhood friends.

My boys tend to be the messiest kids I know.  So as the boys discussed what to do, I was picking up their discarded toys and socks (why are there are ALWAYS so many socks laying around my house?!), when I noticed the camera sitting on a chair.  We had just taken a bunch of beautiful pictures at our church’s Baptism Celebration the night before, so I got distracted and decided to go upload the pictures on my computer.  I took out the SD card and then decided to take up all the other toys that needed to go upstairs as I was on my way to the computer.

The boys started fighting over a video game that I had already told them not to play.   I told them to go outside and play and run and get some exercise, but one particular neighborhood boy was determined to ignore me completely and play Lego Star Wars.  He was frustrated because no one would show him how to get it started.  When he finally figured it out, Asher changed the input on the TV so he could no longer see the game.  That’s when this sweet little almost second grader dropped the F bomb.  Well, he didn’t really drop it, he screamed it and pretty much permeated our house with the word.

I was out of the boys sightline at the time, but his older brother leaned around the wall to look me in the eye.  I gave him the “Oh-I-heard-it” look.  Asher had obviously never heard this word before because he repeated it and said, “What does that even mean?!”  To which my heart gave a great sigh and Isaac then turned the corner to check my reaction.

Suddenly, no one wanted to play video games and everyone was ready to go outside.

I called the boy over and told him we don’t use that language in my house and he apologized and was on his way.

Needless to say, I got distracted again and two days later, have no idea where that SD card is.

Wanted Scars

Isaac was playing on the carpet the other day at church.  He was just scooting around on the floor when Randall looked up and saw that he had a huge rug burn across his face.  Isaac didn’t fall or trip, he just dragged his eye and forehead across the floor until it left a mark.

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His hair covered up most of the burn marks but Isaac was proud of his scabs.  He would lift up his hair often to show others what he’d done.  He made up all kinds of stories as to how he got the burn.  He and Asher were fighting on the carpet, or he tripped and fell, or took a running dive to escape the singe of Darth Maul’s light saber…

When the scabs started to heal, Isaac would scratch and pick at them .  I told him not to pick at it because it would scar.  Within that hour, all of the scabs were gone.

We ran into a girl from his first grade class and he immediately started lifting his hair to show her where the scabs had been.  I told him to tell her “hello” but instead he only said, “I have a scar.”

I shrugged all of that off, not realizing how proud he was of his scar until the first day of Summer School yesterday.  Isaac woke up and came down to breakfast looking like this:

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He had taken a pink marker to his face because his scar had already faded.  I tried to wash it off.  After much soap and scrubbing, I could not get his face clean.  He went to school with a faded pink line over his eye.

 

Boys…

 

Okay, maybe it’s not just boys.  I remember when I was in kindergarten, I was showing off on the swing set in front of my older sister and her friend when I fell off and broke my collar bone.  I had to wear a soft brace for a few weeks and I remember flaunting that brace at Show and Tell week after week at school.  I remember another little girl had stepped on a nail and had to get a tetanus shot, she showed off her scars for Show and Tell that year, too.

So what is it about kids that makes them proud of their scars?

I think what they’re most proud of is conquering the pain.  They’re left with proof that they had won the battle over the pain.

Or maybe it’s like Tina Fey says, “a miniature form of celebrity.”

You get attention from it. People ask you about the story and you get a chance to tell your story!  Maybe kids are just looking for a chance to tell a good story and a scar gives them that opportunity.

 

 

 

God, may I make an effort to show more interest in my kids.  I always ask them about their day and what happened at school, etc.  But going to school isn’t always a good story to tell in their eyes.  May I give my kids opportunities to truly create good stories and more opportunities to tell me all about their stories.  Teach me to ask better questions and delve deeper into their lives and their interests and love them well.  But may we never forget that we can love our scars because you have healed them.  Thank you for redeeming our stories and giving us hope that we will one day see the scars on your son that saved all of our lives.