Thankful Thursday — The Kids


I am thankful for my children. While the four of them have quite a bit in common, each one is so very unique. Being their mother has not been easy, but I wouldn’t trade them (or the mothering experience) for anything in the world.

I feel like I can say that with honesty now that it’s 10 pm and the house is quiet again.

As usual, the day offered plenty of opportunities for me to feel guilty about a decision or to feel like I failed one or all of the kids in some way. For example, I thought we’d have fun playing Uno for a little while this afternoon. Little did I know, one child would become greatly offended by the manner in which another child shuffled the cards. Yes, I had to mediate a card shuffling dispute.

It’s like they’re all 2 years old again.
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On the one hand, I wanted to say, “Oh, you guys are just tired from swimming this morning. Maybe we need to have a rest time today instead of playing games.” But the truth is that I had to help them deal with sinful anger and pride and poor sportsmanship.

One of the most difficult aspects of parenting is knowing whether or not I’m handling a situation the “right” way. Without a doubt, retreating to my room to allow a “Lord of the Flies” scenario to play out would have been wrong. So, even though I didn’t know exactly what to do, I stayed in it. We talked it out.

The day offered plenty of opportunities for shedding tears and talking it out. Each kid spent a bit of time in a room alone “to think about it.” Not an easy day.

But I’m still thankful that they are home and they’re mine.

I am thankful that Hannah enjoyed designing and sewing doll clothes today. She even made a quilted sleep mask.

I’m thankful that Benjamin contented himself with drawing pictures of battles and droids. I think he may be working on another comic book.

I am thankful that Abbey and Noah are best friends. They get into a lot of trouble, but they look out for one another in the trouble.

Today, they enjoyed playing “Food Network.” To play FN, the kids create insane food combinations and judge one another’s creations. It really cracks me up when I hear phrases like, “Beautiful presentation,” and, “I like these flavors.”

The trouble came today, however, when I smelled coffee. I had to put a stop to all of the caffeine ingestion. Plus, they needed to learn that Mama’s Dunkin’ Donuts is not a plaything.

It’s good to give thanks.

By the way, our summer break is coming to an end. I bought some school supplies today. Can you believe it?

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6 thoughts on “Thankful Thursday — The Kids

  1. HI love, how I enjoy reading your blog. Somehow let’s me feel closer to you during the periods of time we are not able to visit. I am thankful for you. Your friendship, your leadership, and the joy you bring to most any occasion. May the love of Christ Jesus continue to fill your heart and overflow into the lives of those blessed enough to spend time with you. Love you much!

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  2. Parenting is difficult, isn’t it? I say that, and I only have one child…but it’s tough just the same. Most days, I realize how wise the Lord was to only allow us the one!

    We’ve hardly gotten started on our break. This was her 3rd week out. We’ve got until Labor Day before she goes back.

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  3. Thank you for sharing the struggles of the day. You shared some of the same thoughts I was trying to communicate to KJ yesterday afternoon. In almost every interaction I have with my children I am constantly wondering if I am doing it “right.” The result of this is an almost constant state of low-level anxiety, I think. I’m not really sure how to “fix” this or even if it can be fixed. Parenting has resulted in so many extra thoughts going through my head nearly 24/7. (And I noticed school supplies out at Wal-Mart today. I personally don’t like it that they start pushing that right after the 4th. There’s still a good month of vacation left, right? Though I will say, their reappearance always makes me want to buy school supplies.)

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    1. Can you guess which Philippians verse springs to mind regarding anxiety? 🙂 But you’re so right: parenting makes me anxious, too. I want a manual that will just tell me what to do. “For card-shuffling disputes, turn to page 628, section b, line 17.” But the kids are so very different — temperament, understanding, etc. I can’t use the exact same strategies for each situation. Most days I feel like I’ve succeeded if I handle it without raising my voice.

      A friend of mine and I were talking by the pool yesterday, and she said something that really struck a chord with me. She referenced Galatians 3 and said that we tend to teach and expect our children to perfect their flesh, to just try harder and do better. It was an interesting and encouraging discussion about parenting with grace.

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  4. 37+ years after first becoming a parent, I’m still dealing with those kinds of issues in my job as a pre-school teacher of 4 & 5 yr. olds. “Did I handle that right?”, “was I too ‘mean’ with that child?”, “am I teaching the kids some things that they shouldn’t learn, like reacting instead of responding to situations?”. Sometimes I hear them repeat phrases or words that I know they’ve learnied from me…some are good, some are not-so-good. Then I have to repent and re-teach. I get one year with 14 children, then start all over with another group. I may never know how good a job I did with any of those children. However, one of them came back to visit recently. She’s going into the 7th grade and she is a lovely young lady. I don’t know how much she remembered of our class, but she felt good about it. Her memories were happy ones. I remembered how she struggled that year as she started grieving over the loss of her mother when she was a baby. She obviously has passed through that process and has blossomed! Rewards do come for the faithful “parent.”

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