(the witching hour - ie. mom is tired and in need of a break while the Colony is hungry and in need of a meal and their quickly approaching bedtime.)
Mom: Jude don't throw that...
Areyna: Alethia won't let me have the...
Mom: Jude DON'T THROW THE...
Cai: Ahhhhhhh! MOOOOOOM, Jude just threw the...
(why does he ALWAYS have to throw every stinking thing!)
Mom: Baby, I know. Jude, no NO!
Mom: Girls, will you please come and unload the dishwash...
Zeke: AHHHHHH! MOM, JUDE IS PULLING MY HAAAAAAAAAAAIRRRRRR!
The Girls: Ah man. The dishwasher agAIN?!
Mom: JUDE. No, no baby! Stop pulling Zeke's hair. Let go. LET GO!
(takes Jude to the room to give him consequences)
I come out to crying girls, fighting boys - I've lost it.
I am no longer capable of being a good mommy at this point.
I stomp down the hallway and slam my door.
Locking it behind me.
Sitting in the chair to stair out the window and pout.
Then I hear a crinkling under the door.
What in the WORLD do they need from me now?!
|"BE STILL. Calm down"|
He knows this is my year's mantra and something I have been working on:)
Ok. that is sweet.
Now leave me alone.
More crinkling under the door.
|"I love you mom. Even when you are anxious."|
How does he know how anxious I am?
They NOTICE when I'm falling apart and not parenting in love but in anger?
More stuffed paper under the door...
|"You are the best mom ever."|
I've acted TERRIBLE!
and he still loves me and just wants his happy hearted mama back.
By now I'm sitting against the door and can't grab Zeke's sweet little love notes fast enough.
|"Pray to God to help you."|
I quickly begin to cry out to the Lord.
For my bad attitude.
For my precious kids.
For my tender-hearted Zeke who GETS ME.
Who get's this out-of-control mama moment, because we have guided him through his own meltdowns.
|"Read the Bible"|
By now my sweet Zeke is guiding me through the steps to calm down and get my heart back on track.
|"You are awesome"|
...and then brings it around to encourage me!
|"Shhh, Shhh, Shhhh"|
This is when I typically come in to sit with him and rub his back, give him some gentle kisses and prepare him to enter back into the family activities.
After reading these streams of notes I walked outside, called a family meeting and apologized to my kids. Of course they were so gracious and offered immediate forgiveness. Because that's just the kind of kids they are:)
But I wasn't done. I asked them to help me walk through the past 30 minutes or so. I asked them to think about what happened and tell me some of the things I did wrong. I told them I was wrong and then we walked through the appropriate response that SHOULD have occurred.
What did I get out of this whole thing?
It's never too late.
It's NEVER too late.
You can always make it right.
Even when you screw up in the worst of ways.
Ask for forgiveness.
Accept that forgiveness.
And then mentally walk through the steps to handle the situation correctly next time.
I'm thankful for kids that understand grace and forgiveness, even when it is undeserved.
I'm thankful for a God that lavishes his love and grace on us, because it is never deserved.