But the thing is I'm going to have to make some GIANT strides in the next few days to feel anywhere in the vicinity of A FEW THINGS KINDA RIGHT by Sunday. The last few days have had some rough moments. For the littlest one and me. The littlest one who isn't little anymore And it's not because the littlest one is any different or more difficult than his brothers. It's because I had deluded myself into thinking that by now, I would totally have this mothering thing down. By now, I should have mastered patience, consistent discipline, and calm control of my emotions.
NOT EVEN CLOSE, SISTER.
And the worst mistake I make when I have a frustrating parenting day is that in my head, I imagine that my children's missteps and my inability to adequately deal with them have become COLOSSAL FAILURES WHICH WILL HAVE FAR REACHING CONSEQUENCES FOR THE WHOLE OF THEIR FUTURES AS WELL AS FOR THE FUTURE OF SOCIETY IN GENERAL.
I go there. I really do.
Deep breath. One day in the life might sometimes change the course of an individual's future. But generally, that's awfully rare. And certainly, some back talk and selfishness from a 10 year old does not guarantee that I'll be visiting him in prison one day.
This is why Ann Voskamp's writing at A Holy Experience is such an extraordinary blessing to me. As are her stunning photos. If I could give a Mother's Day gift to all the boy moms I know, I would give you THIS. And honestly, even if you're a girl mom, please take time to read it. Read the whole thing. I hope it will calm you and bless you as much as it did me. I should just copy and paste the whole thing here for those of you who won't take time to click. In fact, I just about did. (Everything in bold from this point forward is all from Ann)
After reading this during a week of butting heads with the littlest man I stepped out on the porch to watch as he attempted to mow the lawn for the first time by himself. He was so excited to do this work. He felt so grown up and responsible and he was so proud of himself. And even though only a day before I was sure that I was failing miserably at this gig, I stood on the porch and watched him and the words of Ann came back to me.
It's all going to be okay. At least for this day, there is time. There is time for mistakes and time for apologies. Time for consequences and time for giving a little grace. There is time today for teaching and correcting and for praising. Time is fleeting and I can't go back and start over. But, I am blessed to have this day to keep trying to remind my child that he is good and strong and smart and hard working. And that I am good and strong and smart and hard working and most certainly not perfect. I will not ever get EVERYTHING right. But, we'll have grace and forgiveness and the blessing of today. And we'll be grateful for all of it.
There are good young men who simply need someone to tell them that they are that —- who need someone to tell them a dozen times a day, “You’re good at working hard and loving large. You were made for this.”
There’s a reason why children begin as seeds. It’s okay — it’s okay —- that growth and change take time — it’s supposed to
A road always looks one way — until it makes a U-turn.
There are young men who are of great worth, not because they do good yet, but because they are made in the image of a Good and great God — and that alone makes them great young men.
There are young men who need time. Oak trees don’t happen over night. Growing in grace and wisdom and stature isn’t an immediate download — it happens the way a tree grows up: over decades.
There are good young men out there who need to be unearthed from low expectations, and made over by relentless grace, and strengthened with daily doses of iron: the nails of service and the Cross of Christ.