The Terrible, Laughable and Humbling Places of Parenting

There are times when you see your kids shine in the same way you shine and you beam with pride. There are other times when your kids demonstrate undesirable behaviors like eat ashes from the fire pit and you call them “you spouse’s child”.

“Look what our kid did” vs. “Look what your kid did” both have very different tones associated with one another around here.

But then there are moments like the one I experienced tonight when the ugly behavior displayed by my child could not possibly have come from my spouse. The humbling moments where the ugly behavior exhibited by my child is no-doubt-about-it coming from my branch of the family tree.

Tonight while I watched an evening television show with my children, one of my sons asked me for some apple juice. I responded lovingly to his request but apparently, I did not return with the fulfillment of his request in the proper amount of time so he began to cry.

He was disappointed with me because “I did not get his apple juice to him in time for him to drink it during a particular part of the show”. 

Moments like this can make me frustrated. And tired. But moments like this also make me laugh and feel ridiculous- all of these emotions- at the same time.

Have you ever seen the cinematic masterpiece, Big Daddy? You know when Corin cries in the bathroom because they wasted the good surprise on Sonny?

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I am completely Corin. I am a confessed and recovering control-freak-perfectionist lady.

Even as an adult, I often cry when the big surprise is wasted on someone or my drink doesn’t come in time for me to sip it during my favorite part of the show.

My personality was assessed for my husband’s work almost three years ago and the assessor (I remember exactly which assessor) winced when he saw how high of a perfectionist I naturally am.

“Normally people like you like to work alone in the corner,” is what he said. And that is very true of me.

In my regular-self, if I didn’t have the Word of God, The Holy Spirit or the accountability of other tenderhearted Christian women I would be crying in bathrooms all day long about good surprises being wasted and seating charts not working out just the right way.

I am (maybe) six percent recovered with ninety-four percent to go and I have been walking with Jesus for a decade. There is progress but there is so much more work for God to do in my heart as He peels back (oh so many, it’s wince-able how many) layers of control and perfectionist tendencies AND as I do my part of walking in faith and trust that He has begun good work in me and will bring it to completion at the day of Christ.

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But it is terrible when I see the ugly parts my personality come alive in my sweet children. When I see the strong perfectionist crying over drinks not being delivered in the appropriate amount of time or how I have to redo the blankets for him because I didn’t smooth them out the proper way.

Terrible. because we don’t want to come face to face with our ugliness

Laughable. because we get it

And humbling. because we know God has been moving us through it

To see your perfectionist heart and persnickety ways being lived out by little lives on your lap is terrible, laughable and truly humbling.

Oh parenting, you are good to me and I am so blessed. But the learning curve is so, so big.

But also so, so good. To see where we have been, where we are now and where God will possibility take us in the future. Us. And those little crying kids who do not receive their drinks in the proper amount of time.

Terrible. Laughable. And truly humbling.

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