Thursday, September 1, 2011

Muddy Madness

Ever have a day when you feel like you've taught your kids nothing judging by the way they behave? Is it humorous that I'm even asking you that question--because you find yourself feeling that way more often than you'd care to admit?  I was there this morning!  Truthfully, I'm there more often than I want to admit.  So, at the risk of being considered an unfit mother, here goes my story!

Breakfast finished; girls upstairs to get some dolls; boys outside to play.  Probably not even 10 minutes later I head outside with my girls to push them on the swings.  On our way out I notice that the water hose is dripping.  I remind Luke not to turn it on without permission, to which he cheerfully replies, "Okay mom, I won't!"  (Good response, I think.)  Then as we head to the swing set, I look at my chaise lounge and notice that there are huge clumps of wet mud splattered all over it...ALL over it!  I am not happy!  I look at Jaden who smirks and quietly points to Luke.  Luke quickly explains, "That was a squirrel's mess!  A squirrel did that!"  Yeah, nice try!  Then I look at Jaden again and command, "You'd better start talking now and tell me the story."  Jaden continues smirking and says, "Luke did it."  (Obviously!)  Then I notice there are also clumps of mud splattered all over one of the swings.  I send the boys inside!

Now, I will not bore you with the details of their discipline, but I assure you that they were disciplined!  After their time of discipline was finished, I talked to both of them.  I talked to Luke first and he was well aware that he had acted wrongfully.  When I began to talk with Jaden I had every intention of reminding him that he was wrong because he didn't tell Luke to stop what he was doing and because he didn't come tell me.  So, I asked him "Now you do know why you were wrong, don't you?"  He replied, "Yes."  So I asked him, for the purpose of discussion, "Why were you wrong?"  His answer shocked me!  "Because I told him to do it."  Give me a stinkin break!  Are you kidding me?  My 8 year old told his brother to do such a thing?  These were my thoughts, though they may have been just a bit more colorful in my mind...  Now, insert the I have no idea if I've taught my children anything at all feelings.  Oh, and add to those the common mommy-comparison thoughts and feelings.  (Oh yes, guilty of those too!)  I'm sure so-and-so's kids would never ever do something like this.  Maybe some of you think I'm overreacting and that's fine.  I also imagine that poor, childish behavior--such as my boys' this morning--is more common than most of us mothers like to admit to each other! 

Now, on most given days I can think of a multitude of stories about my children that make me feel so proud of their character.  I love sharing those glowing stories.  I do not enjoy sharing the stories that reveal how they are still so lacking in judgment, decency (sometimes), and even common sense!  Come to think of it, they often remind me of some adults I know!  At some point, I will laugh at this situation, but this morning I was not happy and was certainly not laughing!  Later in the day, I heard a familiar song--the words seemed so fitting.

So I'll learn to love these days
Life along the way
In the middle of the crazy
God your love is so amazing
Through the ups and downs
You're the only hope I've found
Lord you meet me in the madness
I'll learn to love these days

And that is the truth of it, isn't it?  God is still so amazing and His love is unending!  Even in the mess and madness of my days, He loves me and He loves my kids.  Even when I question the ultimate success of my mothering (which by the way, I'm not supposed to judge...let alone judge by my children's behaviors), He's patient, gentle, and loving with me.  So..."I'll learn to love these days!" 

*lyrics by Mandisa

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