Someone told me once that, to have a large family and remain sane, one must have a good sense of humor. I’m always rather enjoyed the funnier side of life, but children have slowly taught me to see things that way on a far broader basis.
When Pierce pooped on the floor at the eye doctor’s, it was horrifying. But, now we laugh. And I’m certain he’ll hear about that one when he’s older. And when he gets married. And when he’s potty training his own son.
When my then two year old asked, in a Baptist (ie. dry) congregation why she wasn’t allowed to take communion, followed by “Does it have ALCHOHOL in it?!” in a very loud voice, I was mortified. We didn’t share all the same convictions, but that didn’t mean we needed to offend everyone in that. But… now we laugh.
So now, I’m trying to remember to just laugh. Skip the embarrassed and go straight to enjoying my children. It’s all I can do, anyhow. Embarrassed doesn’t get you very far anyhow. Anger doesn’t either. In an eye-opening moment, my dear baking-loving daughter brought me a broken (6 year old!) rubber spatula in two pieces and a dollar, I wanted to cry. Am I seriously so stinking uptight when she legitimately broke something that she felt like she needed to bring money to help replace it when she showed me what she’d done? Hello mirror. That reflection is looking pretty stinking ugly right about now.
When Pierce bit Charlotte and ran for the bug bite medicine, I scolded. And then, I laughed. Because who would have thought of that?!
When I’m rushed for time and my dear, fun-loving Ruby decides that the train she needs to color for math needs stripes – about 30 different colored stripes – I’m learning to go with it. I’m doing my best to back off from the hurrying up and slowing down to try to enjoy life. Including the most colorful trains you ever did see in one math book.
When Sterling left his 2 week-old crayon box out in the sun one afternoon this week, we examined what wax does in heat, what colors melting on colors looked like… and then I handed him a new box of crayons. It’s just not worth getting crabby about. (Contrast this to the melted crayon he was required to scrub off the sidewalk this summer and you’ll note progress. I hope.)
When naked Sterling, fresh from the tub and 20 months old, plopped himself down on the frozen turkey my sister had just removed from the freezer but it had yet to make it off the floor and into the sink to thaw… Sterling saw it as a perfectly sized stool. And then he froze. On two counts. But oh, we laughed. And laughed, and laughed. Do you know how good that feels?!
Motherhood, it turns out, is pretty stinking funny. Embarrassing, certainly. Humbling, definitely. As iron sharpens iron – but, I’m learning, play dough in the carpet does a pretty good job of sharpening iron too.
How do you want to be remembered when your children are grown and gone? I’m aiming for easy-going, go with the flow, laugh-instead-of-cry, grace-extending, and quick to forgive. And slowly, with God’s grace, I’ll learn from my mistakes and get better at this.