Thursday, November 18, 2010
* My child had an extremely clogged nose and I was helping to "remove the clogs". I had a kleenix in hand, had plugged up one nostil of my child, and was giving instructions on how to blow a nose - a nostril at a time. Since this particular child was young, we hadn't necessarily done the blowing before (I hate to admit it, but I used to tell my children: "Sniff really big. I don't have a kleenix". As I was preparing to cover the stuffed up little nose, my child decided to go ahead and blow ... and covered my face (and sunglasses) with the nose clog materials before the kleenx was in place. I can still remember the horrified feeling as the rest of my family, who all were fortunate enough to witness the famous unclogging episode, collapsed in hysterial laughter.
* My middle son loved to ride in the front seat of the car. Since I also loved to ride in the front seat while his father was driving, the answer was always "no" to his question of trading places. We were driving through the winding roads of the Ozarks in Missouri when the boy said he was car sick. Okay, he was 5 years old. He had never been car sick, and honestly, I don't even know where he heard the term. I told him we'd be there in a bit and he needed to just rest. Yes, I figured he was just trying to get in to the front seat and thought he could use the excuse of being sick. It wasn't until he vomited on the back of my head that I realized the little guy actually knew what he was talking about.
* I was lying on my back, holding my precious baby boy up over my head. He was cooing and babbling to me, grinning that sweet toothless little smile that I loved ... and then he without warning spit up -- right in to my open and talking mouth. I learned then and there to NOT hold up a newly fed baby over my face.
I could go on, but truthfully, I'm starting to gross myself out walking down Memory Lane, so I'm going to stop while I'm ahead. But the fact is that as a mom, I've had to put up with some disgusting things. All moms do. It just goes along with the job description. Though I laugh about it now, it was something that was pretty icky at the time.
I love my children. I really do. But there comes a time when I had to quit "cleaning up after them" and let them experience the consequences of their own actions. It was soooooo much easier to clean up the icky, unspeakable things of childhood than to sit back and watch as they were older. After all, I was DOING something, and for me ... well, it was sure better than just sitting and waiting. God, being the Perfect Parent, is a great example of what I needed to do. In my own life, God sometimes rescued ... and sometimes sat and watched as I had to dig myself out. And He's taught me to do the same thing with my children. Let me tell you, everything in THIS momma wants to ALWAYS run in and rescue, to ALWAYS clear a path to make it easier, to ALWAYS do what will make my child happy. God has taught me that those things are NOT what my child always needs. So, I've sat and watched children make wrong mistakes ... cried and prayed as an adult/child took the dangerous path ... and longed for the clean-up days of long ago.
Regardless of the mess, God is there with my child wherever s/he may take Him. Despite the ickiness, God never leaves. Sometimes God rescues ... and sometimes He watches us experience the consequences. But in every single situation, God IS THERE with my child -- something I'm incable of doing. My job as teacher and "cleaner-upper" is basically over ... and God's never is. Throughout the rest of their lives, God will be with them -- celebrating the victories, teaching through the defeats, cleaning up and preparing them for the future. And I can rest, knowing that He is in control and our kids are in very capable hands.