Sometimes, I get glimpses of my life and my children; glimpses of what’s to come. Glimpses that give me hope that Clint and I are on the right track in our parenting. Despite nearly a week of all of us being stuck at home with a nasty virus, despite the fact that we’ve been at each other’s throats because we’re so stir crazy, I had some huge glimpses today.
Glimpses of Obedience
Zander was parked in time out because he didn’t listen to my demand to “Get off of the TV stand, Zander, that’s not safe.”
When his two minutes in time out was up, I walked over to do the usual “Why are you in time out?” spiel.
“Okay, Mister,” I said, kneeling down to him. “Why are you in time out?”
This is the part where I usually have to fill words in for him.
“A’cuz…” Zander began. I opened my mouth to give him the reason, when he continued, “I no dit down da TV.”
In my head, I was absolutely floored. On the outside, I made it look like this was a totally normal thing, that he was supposed to be talking to me in a full sentence despite the fact that he never had before.
“That’s right. You didn’t listen and you didn’t get down from the TV stand. That was dangerous and disobedient.”
“Sowwy, mommy,” he said, patting me on the head.
I didn’t notice that Wyatt had been standing beside me, holding a snack cup. He offered the cup to Zander and smiled.
Wyatt gave up his snack, voluntarily, to his twin brother who just this morning had brought him to tears at least twice.
Zander sat for two straight minutes in time out without so much as a peep AND was able to tell me why he was in trouble.
Glimpses of Compassion
Earlier today, I took the kids out for a short walk to get us out of the house. Wyatt fell while running and Colby and Lily ran to his side, helped him up, hugged and kissed him, asking if he was okay.
A little while later, I was hacking up my lungs, thanks to this stupid cold, and Wyatt was on the couch next to me. When I stopped coughing, he leaned into me, wide eyed, and said, “You ‘k, mama? You ‘k?”
Last week, Wyatt, Zander and I were in the kitchen when Wyatt tossed his cookies. Zander, who had been on my lap, wiggled down. “No, Z, don’t go over there, I need to clean that,” I said, but to my relief, he was running the opposite direction. I began peeling Wyatt’s clothes from him when I turned and saw that Zander hadn’t run far. He had merely gone to the linen drawer to grab some towels. He bent down and was mopping up Wyatt’s puke from the floor saying, “Oh, Wy Wy! Oh, Wy Wy!”
Glimpses. I live for these glimpses.
For all of the terrible, difficult times, for all of the parenting tests that I absolutely fail, these peeks into the future show me that it isn’t one mistake or even two that will prevent our kids from being loving, respectful individuals. What matters in the long run, is that they witness compassion, they know love, and they are respected, so that they can turn around and do the same to others.
My kids are amazing. They are the most difficult challenge I have faced in my life (and they may be screaming at each other and tattling right this second), but they are good kids. I pray that they will always know that.