I love it when my husband tells me he's read my blog. You know, without me even telling him to. ;) Yesterday's conversation with him began with him telling me that he had indeed read my blog (cue the applause in my head), but then ended with him telling me that he thought it was kind of harsh (and the LP playing said appause makes that screeching/scratching sound when the needle is not so delicately removed and the record stops). Ouch. Huh?
I feel like my mothering style is schizophrenic at best. I teeter back and forth between breaking my arm patting myself on the back for volunteering at school and making homemade Valentines with Jamie to beating myself up for giving her coke with breakfast and having terribly incomplete baby books marking the girls' milestones from birth to age 5. Can you relate? I hear so many times, "Pick your battles with your children," and for the most part, I feel like I do a good job. But then I stumble across a blog about a mother with seven children who homeschools them all, makes homemade bread, and only buys organic produce (if she doesn't grow it herself in her garden that all seven children help her with). I become exhausted just reading about it. Mouth gaping wide open, I turn the computer off and wonder how my lil' chilluns are EVAH gonna make it with a momma like me.
Well, lucky for them they have a dad that goes above and beyond the call of duty. If yesterday's post left you thinking that I'm doing all this parenting stuff by myself, you are sadly mistaken. My husband often jokes that I don't know how good I've got it, to which I reply, "Uh, yeah I DO. I dated the planet before we met. I know what's out there. Why do you think I waited 28 years to get married???" I don't know if this kind of sarcastic comeback is exactly what he had in mind if he was fishing for a compliment, but he knows he's appreciated. I tell him all the time.
And then there's the saving grace that I pray for my kids all the time. I call down all the powers from heaven most every day in carline to help me be able to cope with whatever the red-head has been holding in all day, only to release it on me in the comfort and safety of the minivan. I pray for strength (both physical and emotional) to be able to care for my sweet Anna as she gets older, and heavier, all the while reataining her 18 month old mindset. I pray that despite my faults and shortcomings, that somehow, somehow, I will do something right and instill in them love and compassion for others, self respect, and respect for God. And then like in the movies, the skies part, and my prayers are answered.
Jamie came home from school the other day and began telling me about her day. She said that the substitute teacher they had that day suggested that the children break up into partners to read to each other as the school day came to a close. A little boy in her classroom (whom she has talked about before) began asking different kids if they would like to be his reading partner. (Okay, here's some background info: This little boy would be what an adult would call an "outcast." He's just a bit too quirky for the status quo and unfortunately is excluded by others for being what Jamie describes as "weird." ) Anyway, the little boy asks student after student to read with him and each child he asks says no. Jamie then tells me, "So I just walk up to him and say, 'Charlie,* would you like to read with me?' " I asked what he did then and she says, "He just kinda jumped back a little bit, kinda shocked, and shook his head yes. My friends were all looking at me like I was weird, but I didn't care." I almost cried.
"Of all things you have ever done, Jamie Ruth, I am most proud of this one thing. You may not realize it now, but you have made a difference in this little boy's life. This is what God wants us to do: love each other and take care of each other. Did it make you feel good to be nice to Charlie*?" She nodded. "I bet it made God feel good too. Come here and give me a hug!" And just like that, all that "coke for breakfast" and incomplete baby books didn't even matter anymore. Light had conquered darkness and my ability as a mother was not in question anymore. At least not for the rest of the afternoon. ;)
And then yesterday rolls around and she tells me, "Mom, Erin totally stole my idea." "How so?" I replied. "Well, yesterday, she just went up to Charlie* first thing and asked him if he wanted to read with her." "That's great, honey! Now because what you have done, others want to include him too. Isn't that great?" "Yeah, I guess. But I did it first." LOL! I guess we'll still need to work on humility, but thank GOD, I must be doing something right! Happy Thursday, peeps!