Monday, December 17, 2012
Sunday morning found Glenn out of bed early to focus on his church calling. His side of the bed didn't even have time to get cold before Ethan slid in and promptly fell back asleep. I love those mornings. I've seen plenty of movies where couples lie in bed and watch the other sleep, & while I can't say I've ever done that, I can say any time one of my children are asleep by me I can't help but just stare at them.
In those moments my brain goes at warp speed and my heart beats faster. I have conversations with myself about how much I love them and how extraordinarily lucky I am. I go over the balance sheets of what I've been doing right and the parenting methods that need to be checked. And sometimes I'll just indulge myself and let my heart crumple in on itself while I slowly just take in their face.
I rarely sit still long enough to watch T.V., but Friday morning found me on the couch addressing Christmas cards with the news on. Right in the middle of stuffing envelopes my heart dropped and confusion, anger, sadness and despair set in. There is many to feel for at this time, who need to feel our love, prayers and hope. Amid gathering strength there are also many questions and one on my mind is how is a boy who is barely a man capable of this?
Even in a world of turmoil I believe in my kids. They are not now and will never be perfect but they are good. They have caring hearts and a love for Jesus Christ and their Father in Heaven. Not only a love but the obligation they feel to be an upstanding citizen is tangible. They know they have a responsibility to make the world a better place. They know this because they hear it in our daily prayers. It is expected.
When it comes to their friends I must say I've done a good job of veering them away from some kids while wholeheartedly fostering other friendships. I don't think my kids know about all the hustling in the background, but there is hustling for sure.
I've been accused of being judgmental in the past and it's true, it's something I've worked on and continue to work on, but when it's comes to who my kids spend time with I must say the judgement is here to stay.
If you are going home to no supervision my kids will not be joining you.
If you are allowed all access to T.V. and video games you will be invited over here where that doesn't exist.
If I can see your bra straps my son will not date you.
If you swear I'll give you a lesson on what is acceptable language around my family.
If you feel the need to text the whole time you're at my house I'll ask that the next time you come not be such a 'hectic' day for you.
If you are even the least bit disrespectful to me you will not come back.
If I feel at any time that you are a negative influence on my children I will occupy their time with other things or people.
If my mom radar gives me any inkling at all that you are bad news, you're out.
I lived in a bubble for the first 16 years of my life. It's good and bad. It was a time of innocence and just being oblivious to the harsh realities of life, but once those realities show up on your doorstep in a very pretty package, it's downright difficult to figure it all out. Especially on your own.
So I am no Pollyanna and this is what I know - communication is key.
I let my kids know daily how much I love them, how proud I am when they're making great choices, my frustrations and disappointments when inevitably they don't. They can ask me anything and get an honest answer. But that honesty also extends into my expectations for them.
Trust me when I say I am aware my kids may go through periods of not liking me. But I know that any kid would much rather "not like" their parents for being too involved, then for real not liking them for not being involved enough.
All I have is my gut and heart to lead me. Like every other parent these 3 are my whole world and failure is not an option.