i've always thought Mary had it made raising a perfect child.
no temper tantrums, rebellion, lying, selfishness, greed....
always thankful and helpful and understanding.
then this morning my 7 year old daughter woke up grumpy. i mean, she resembled one of the seven dwarfs. she was yelling before her feet hit the floor.
as was i.
and later, while pondering motherhood in the shower, i had the thought -
it would suck to raise a perfect person.
motherhood is such a highlighter of imperfections. like a searchlight has been turned on all my ugliness. i had thought that marriage revealed my selfishness, and then i had a baby! but i can't imagine dealing with the constant revelation knowing that the child holding the light had no imperfections at all.
my husband has great anger management. i'll be spouting off about someone who did such and such a thing and he'll come back with "maybe they were having a really bad day...." or "well, maybe from their viewpoint....". it's infuriating!!! i want him to grumble and sneer with me, but no, he takes the high road and then i realize, you guessed it, i'm on the low road.
i was thinking in the shower "she [my daughter] just needs to experience a morning in someone else's house to see how good she has it!" (of course, i wasn't thinking about your house). and then God whispered, "maybe you need to experience someone else's child at 8am to see how good you have it."
good one God.
at a women's brunch on tuesday (i made that hashbrown dish i talked about last week...yum!) someone read a letter, from a mother to her child, that included some lines like this:
i can teach you the rules, but i can't make you obey them
i can reveal to you my faith, but i can't make you believe
i can teach you to say thankyou, but i can't make you thankful
it's hard to let go of those end goals. and feel helpless to accomplish them. like i'm sitting on the sidelines, waiting for something to finally sink in. for words like "thanks for doing all the laundry for me mom!" or "what a delicious meal you've made for me, again!" to just flow from the mouths of my babes. and i realized this morning that i have been trying to make it happen, to discipline my children into thankfulness. a battle i will never win. they may appear thankful, but only the Holy Spirit can change their hearts.
so, i honestly don't know where that leaves me, beyond pondering. i know that it's still going to hurt when my children throw my service back at me, like my sacrifice is a weapon in their hands. i also know that this in unintentional on their part. maybe i can be a little easier on them, and a little easier on myself, if i stop trying to make them into something i have no skills or power to accomplish.
maybe i should start being more thankful that they aren't perfect.