I’ve said this before but parenting truly reveals how much we think we are in control and just how much we really are not.
I had something happen this past weekend that put the exclamation point on that statement. I had been telling Luke & Jake what a great time we were gonna have on Sunday. First we’d go to the pool, then we’d come home & rest, and THEN they would get to come to work with me. They are ALWAYS wanting to come to work with me and so I thought this was an incredible plan. Well, “we” did-until the “we” realized that I would be leaving them in Waumba Land and going to work upstairs. Now usually, they love Waumba, but tonight was different. The tears started as we pulled up and not just whimpering. I mean it was the snotty, drooling, screaming “I don’t want to go to church” “all the way through the parking lot, into the lobby, down the stairs, into their classroom, clinging to me until physically removed” kind of tears. Jake happened to stop at the caterpillar outside of Waumba, but Luke went the entire way as described… Thankfully I had put on my staff name badge so I couldn’t hide and was able to REALLY stand out.
I was grateful for the sweet volunteer who was encouraging me as I was about to burst into tears in the hallway. I was not grateful for the person who made the snide comment about what was happening well within my earshot as she was walking in with her two children.
I was upset. I was shaking and I felt like I was spinning. My feeling of being unable to hold it together was able to hold me until I could get alone. Now this is the time most folks assume I was about to lose it because I was embarrassed by Luke’s actions. Or if I was describing this to someone, they would jump to the conclusion that I let Luke rule the roost or maybe they would assume Michael and I were not consistent & didn’t follow through on things. There would also be the crew that assumed that I was trying to control Luke and I was more worried about what people thought of me than him. And you know what-I was trying to figure out why I felt so out of sorts about it too. I mean it was really hard to bounce back and it wasn’t just my shot nerves. We had on ok rest of the night, but I was still a little off. Monday morning I felt like God answered my prayers and gave me a little peek into what he feels when he looks at me. I desperately want Luke & Jake to be all that Luke & Jake were created to be. I want to raise them up in the way THEY should go, not the way I think they should go or wish they would go. I’m sure there is a part of me that cared about what people thought, but that’s called being a human being & it won’t be completely gone until I’m with Jesus. However, then I will be dead & I’m not wanting that just yet so for now, I’ll deal with it. Ok, back to the topic at hand.
I just felt helpless. I felt helpless to make Luke feel better. I felt helpless to love him well. He didn’t have to be feeling this way, but there was no switch, no logic, no nothing that could stop it. I felt helpless in that I had to sit by and let him work it out even if he looked bad or silly in front of people. I was watching my sweet, precious little boy hurt as he was navigating emotions he didn’t know how to handle and I could do nothing. I didn’t WANT to do anything, it just bothered me to see him that way. It’s hard to walk confidently that you are doing the right thing when a stranger has to peel your child off your leg to get him in the room. Should I leave him? Does he feel abandoned? Is he someday going to be a Real Househusband of Atlanta and talking about his mom scarring him because she said he could go to work with her and instead he had to go learn about “Geejus”? Yes, it made me feel better that my dear friend Laura sent me texts & pictures that he was ok, but it was still just hard.
I would never try to put myself equal to God, but I did feel like this must be what he feels like when he watches me go through my day. He desires so much for me and it must be hard for him to watch me sin and experience the hardships that come with it. (Sin is just a short way of saying trying to get my needs met apart from him.) When I cling to things he never meant as promises and then I freak out because things don’t turn out the way I thought they would.
I’m an adult and Luke is 5. I don’t always know what is “normal” for a 5 year old to do, but I do know I desperately love this little boy and SOOO desire the best for him. I struggle with horrible communication skills as well as controlling my emotions and I am 37, so it is understandable that a 5 year old is not always going to know how to calm himself down. I’m learning that I serve a holy God whose life is in me. I may not know how to respond or what to do, but he does and can through me. What could be better than that??
I’m sure this will not be the last time I have a night like this, but I think I have a different perspective. I hope my renewed mind will help me remember that he doesn’t need me to do anything but to stay calm, speak gently, and love him well.