I just had a the oddest thing happen. Well, for me anyway. Over the last couple of weeks my new morning habit after my God alarm goes off is to check KSDK’s school closings on my phone. I have three kids in three different schools on three different schedules so it’s kind of important for me to know what’s going on. And I have a very cynical distrust of meteorologist (that’s a story for another day). As I checked KSDK on my phone it said THERE WERE NO CLOSINGS!!! I started having a hissy fit in my bed. I’m trying not to throw my phone as I get untangled from my blankets I’m muttering in my head not so nice thoughts about Mr. O’Connell. As my brain wakes up I’m starting to realize the other ramifications and my blood is really starting to boil. I let the kids stay up late last night! As Child #2 was going to bed he made me promise he didn’t have to go to school today. Child #3’s school had already been canceled and his school rarely cancels. As I walk out to the living room to check the conditions myself I see very little accumulation and now I am geared up. In the past 3 minutes my blood pressure is through the roof. I’m a true Missourian so you really have to SHOW ME everything. I gather myself together and think through that I really need to cross check my sources. I get on the school district’s website and see the message that the entire district is closed down for Feb 1. My negative, cynical side huffs at the website laughing at the school officials for their Chicken Little mentality. I bet they were really kicking themselves this time. Just to make sure I didn’t need to run down and roust Child #1 out of bed I actually turned on the tv and turned to KSDK. And you know what I found. Cancellations upon cancellations and now St. Charles is included in the blizzard. And now I am calm once again.Confused as to my response?
I was really looking forward to a day with my kids. Shocking I know. I’m sure doubly shocking with the knowledge that I had spent hours upon hours this weekend in the car with them. But I had felt like our relationships were going through a rough time. I felt like my parenting skills had switched over to horribly reacting to every little thing rather than assuming the authority and taking a very proactive approach. I felt like all of my interactions with my children were becoming very tedious, negative, and actually harmful.
I hated this feeling but sometimes when you are in the trenches it’s really hard to see the whole picture. Right after God and my husband my children are my world. I want so badly to give them everything they need or want. I want their childhood to be filled with warm happy feelings. I want them to look back on these years with grand memories of being loved, cherished, supported, and encouraged. I want them to know to know that at any point in their life they are loved unconditionally.But lately I have not felt successful in that realm at all. I was hoping the neighbors wouldn’t call DFS.
So this weekend I picked up yet another parenting book when I was at my favorite used book store. As a former parent educator I really had no need for yet another book but when I’m desperate I always turn to a book . I picked up Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages of Children. I read all of it in almost one sitting. I got it. After kicking myself around a bit for not seeing the simplicity I got to work.
I feel one of my strengths is to see where people are coming from. I usually appreciate how God has made people in all shapes and sizes and moods and attitudes and beliefs. I don’t usually feel like I have to force people to change their thoughts and behaviors. I usually think and react one way but it doesn’t mean that everyone is going to think and react the way I do. I just kind of figure God will take care of that all in good time. I take I Corinthians 9:19-23 quite literally. But once again the respect for those outside of my family trumped the respect I showed to those inside my immediate family.I really had failed my children on this one.
Each of my children have been made in a unique and wonderful way. They are an intricate part of me but they are not a carbon copy of me (thank goodness.) I had lost perspective that they are their own beautiful, individual creation. And I think I was really wanting then to grow up and just deal with life on their own. But they are children. And although I will never stop being their mother I have only been given a short time to be their mommy.
So last night and today was a new start. A new way for me to communicate my love with each my children in the way they were made to be loved. Like everything in parenting I hope this will work and I hope it will work for a long time. But even if it doesn’t I pray I don’t lose perspective and gratitude for the gift God has given me.
How are you going to spend today loving your kiddos?