Tuesday, May 01, 2007

A Good Day

Today was a good day.

This morning I spoke for a group of moms. The women were warm and welcoming, and I always love speaking, but it was what happened after I spoke that was remarkably good.
The coordinator of the group was in tears as she shared about a very hard time she and her husband are going through with their oldest daughter. I'll skip the details, except to say this mom reminded us to stay focused on what's important. She said, "It doesn't matter if they don't eat all their peas. It doesn't matter if they go outside in an outfit that doesn't match." She pleaded with us to love our kids and not get hung up on and bent out of shape over things that really don't matter. In the end she affirmed the fact she still has hope in God, and knows He will use even this very difficult situation for His ultimate good.
Her words about staying focused on what's important have stayed with me all day. Though I am sorry for the pain she is going through right now, I am glad for her willingness to share, and the wisdom which has been resounding in my mind.

When I got home, I heard a message from Matthew's teacher on the answering machine. He wasn't behaving well today. It makes me angry when he does this. He knows better! His teacher is such a dear woman, and she doesn't need to put up with his shenanigans. Oh, yes. I would certainly be having a talk with him after school! I think it was the words from that mother this morning (used by the Holy Spirit) that helped me to respond wisely, rather than how I'd initially thought to.
After dinner, Joshua wanted to sit on my lap so I scooted back and made room for him. Matthew was on Brian's lap and we started playing Pokey Torture. It's a silly game where one of the kids says, "Pokey Torture on." Then the adults poke the kid on their lap all over (emphasizing sides and arm pits!) until one of the kids calls out, "Pokey Torture off!"
When that game was over, Joshua and I got into a Wet Willy War. (You know what a Wet Willy is, don't you? It's when you put your finger in your mouth and then stick it in someone's ear. I know. I'm so childish and gross!) Anyway, it started with Joshua trying to give me one. But I, being the stronger of the two, (for a couple more years) grabbed his wrists and tried to make him give himself the treat. We carried on for several minutes. I was successful in getting Joshua's fingers into his mouth, but he managed to keep them out of his ears. Anyway, we were laughing and having poor table manners, but it was fun.
Then after dinner the kids cleared the table and I was getting ready to wash the dishes. Joshua came into the kitchen with a long face saying, "You said there was going to be enough time for Elizabeth and I to go to the park." I looked at him and said, "Yeah?" And he said, "It's a dishes night." (On non-bath nights, it is Elizabeth and Joshua's job to wash the dishes.) I had completely forgotten about them doing the dishes when I told him they'd be able to go to the park after dinner.
But then those words from this morning came back to me and I thought, I can make an exception, can't I? So I told him I would do the dishes tonight and the two of them could go to the park and play.
Oh, how many times I have wanted to say, (and sometimes I have said...)"When I was a kid, Aunt Kimmy and I did the dishes every night. No questions. No complaints." My kids don't realize how good they have it!
But tonight I just wanted them to enjoy being kids. And if you could have seen the look on their faces, and heard the tone of their voices when they thanked me for doing the dishes for them. I'm telling you, those two things made it all worth it!

I am not posting about this series of events so I'll get comments telling me what a great mom I am. I fail miserably, and if you've been around here long enough you've read about some of my failures.
Rather, I am reflecting on this day and the words I heard this morning in hopes that you and your kids will benefit from the hard lessons of a fellow mom.
Now, go hug your kids!!!



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4 comments:

Lauren S. said...

Great post! Sometimes we have to remind ourselves to say "YES!" Such little things can truly make their eyes light up! Thanks for the reminder!

annie said...

Karen,
After Izzy's accident I am hypersensitive to kids and their feelings. I see parents here and there talking at their kids and not to them and it disgusts me. I can see them trying to communicate and being dismissed... then I come home and face my bunch. They do try my patience! But, I have realized that the little things are not worth worry. It's sad that it takes a life changing event to bring this point home. I am glad you were able to get it from another mom.

Irritable Mother said...

Lauren ~ YES can be so hard sometimes. But I've learned it's a really good word!

Annie ~ Perspective is a good thing. I'm glad, too, I was able to learn from another mom. I'm hoping I don't forget it!

Coach Jenny said...

Just yesterday, I snapped at my 13 yr old son. It broke his heart. I had to apologize and tell him that I was telling myself, he's just a kid. And it's hard to remember that when he's as tall as I am! I hugged him and asked him for forgiveness. Our kids truly are precious blessings from God. I'm so glad you had a good day.