A little bit ago, the kids wanted me to get some books down from the very top of their shelves. I climbed up and did it...and in the process, knocked down a very special Willow Tree figurine. My sweet friend gave it to me when we were knee-deep in wanting a baby and being disappointed month after month. I was so focused on what I wanted, I lost sight of what He wanted for me. I don't know if my friend saw what I couldn't see then, but opening this gift was the first step in letting go of the way I thought it should be and hoping for a baby while accepting that having an only child would be pretty awesome, too. I don't think the important part of the story is that we DID get pregnant a few months later...I think the important part is that I sought His will rather than my own. (After years of seeking my own, don't give me any credit I don't deserve.)
Because I'm me and I lean toward the packrat-y sentimental side, I was pretty sad when I realized Hope's hand came off in the fall. Luckily I drop stuff a lot, so I have a superglue stash and a system for fixing stuff. I got right to it, but I just wasn't having any luck. The glue kept running and my fingers were sticking to his hand and I just made a mess. I came pretty close to letting Hope go through life Luke Skywalker style, but I stepped back from the counter for a minute and considered my options. Tweezers worked like a charm and accomplished what my heavy-handed ways could not. So now Hope is drying and he'll be good as new up on the shelf shortly.
My heart is still heavy, though. That little boy that I hoped and prayed for, not the figurine but the real one? He's having a rough time right now. It's not anything that all of us don't struggle with--ungratefulness, disrespect, selfishness...I'm guilty of all of these things, as well. But something is off with him and we're having heart issue after heart issue after heart issue. And I'm weary, y'all. He's a 7 year old boy, and he's just being human. And being human ain't always pretty or sweet, I know. But the kid I've lived with this summer is not someone I want Noble to be for the rest of his life--I've seen this kid as a grown up, and nobody likes that guy. Especially, sadly, that guy. So, we're working on it.
In the car on the way home from the pool (where he ended up sitting out most of the time because of his disrespect), he wouldn't let it go and I finally raised my voice when he informed me that he worked hard to go to the party today and deserved to go. Then I was angry. And I get it--if I'm yelling at my kid explaining about the grace of Jesus and the cross, I'm doing something wrong. I'm doing lots of things wrong, I suspect, or Noble wouldn't be struggling as much as he is.
There's a fine line here between taking his human-ness personally and looking too much at myself, and also not taking a good long look in the mirror at what I'm modeling, at what Noble is learning from us and our relationships. Am I one person at home and another in public? Do I expect respect but not give it? Do I say the right things to the right people and do the wrong things when I feel like it? Yes, yes, and yes at times, I'm certain. Do I get it right sometimes, too? Sure. Could I be better at lots of it? Definitely. Because I'm human, too. There's grace for me, just as I'm expected to give grace to him.
We've been doing a lot of talking lately about grace, and about blessings. We can't get the two mixed up, but don't you think modern American Christians do? We believe, so we should receive. We're good people so good things should happen to us. We deserve...yep, that one, too.
I don't really know what my point is. The point is that parenting is tough but I have to keep an eternal perspective, literally, for his sake. Or maybe the point is that I'm struggling with struggling...that I've hit a bump in the road that's inconvenient and sometimes embarrassing and it's thrown me for a loop. I don't know. I do know that it's not all about me (despite the focus of this blog post) and it's not about him.
I guess I just felt like I needed to document the not so pretty stuff, too.
So I'll find my hope in Him, and pray that's the legacy I'll pass on to my kids.