Thursday, September 15, 2011

This parenting thing, it is going to hurt


At the end of the first day of Eli’s MDO this semester I was met by a young, tired worker with a tired smile. Kudos to her; a room full of 2 year olds is not exactly my idea of fun…maybe for an hour, but not long after that I would be checking the clock every 5 mins.

I asked how Eli had been and she told me that he had gotten a sticker for helping pick up toys. “YAY! Go Eli” I thought to myself. She showed me the paper where all the stars were collected.

Then I saw it. I saw children that had three stars next to their name. Three.

My heart sank. I have never in my life been disappointed in Eli. He has always gone beyond my expectations of him. He walked early, talked early. He has always been the best in my little world; and if he wasn’t the best, I am sure I found a justification as to why.

But there was no way around that one star. Immediately I started blaming myself. I am totally a self-blamer; when things go wrong I blame inward and not outward. I should have made him help more picking up toys. I should have spanked him harder when he hit his sister- maybe it is my fault because I spank him at all. The list went on and on.

That one stupid star ruined my day…actually a couple of days.

My whole worth as a mom was tied to that one star. I mean, when you give up your career to stay at home, your career becomes your children. Believe me, if I didn’t feel lead by God to stay at home- I would be at work…in a heartbeat. As much as I try to be Betty Crocker and Martha Stewart, I long for the adult interaction and tangible numbers of success that are found in the structure of a good work environment.

This is one of those blog posts that I would love to skip over and not write. To me it shows just how far I have to come in my ideas of parenting and my goals/dreams/expectations of our children. If I can let a little sticker get me down, what will it be like when Eli comes home with a less-than-perfect report card? Or if he decides that college really isn’t for him and wants to backpack across some foreign land and not go to school. Am I really able to let go of all of my dreams for him, my expectations so that he is able to lead the life that he is called? This is hard.

This is going to hurt.

This parenting thing, it is going to hurt.

Last week I was sitting in a room full of wonderful ladies, they pour out their concerns for their children. Young and old, the concern of a parent never ends. There is no magic cutoff day when you stop worrying about them. And they are convinced that it just gets harder…what?

Man, sometimes the responsibility of being a parent just gets to me. But man, what a ride; what if we can succeed to help build responsible, respectful, compassionate God-fearing children. That is a legacy.