“Thank you for your kids.” The exact words my two oldest kids’ art teacher, Mrs. Drillovich, said. “They’re so nice and well-behaved. I can tell you’ve done a good job.”
Really? I could feel my cheeks breaking into a smile, and the urge to hug my little angels flowed into my arms as we walked to the car. “I’m so proud of you, guys,” I said. “Thanks for being so good.”
“Wanna race?” my daughter Gabby asked Benjamin, ignoring my smushy words. And they took off.
The squabbling began immediately.
“Hey! I wasn’t ready!” my daughter whined as she ran. “It’s not fair.”
The battle escalated as they got into the van. “Mama, Benjamin cheated.”
“You always cheat, Gabby.”
So much for well-behaved kids.
As I go through my days as a mommy, I find life is like this. Little victories, followed by hours of struggle. I want those victory moments to last. I think it’s my latent desire to have a peaceful home where the kids obey, the dishes are done, and a slow-cooking pot roast fills the house with the aroma of love (and a together me).
Funny, but life with kids doesn’t seem to be like that. When Mrs. Drillovich gave the compliment, besides the rush of joy, I also felt the weight of the responsibility that training kids to be respectful, responsible, and productive involves:
>Constant reminders to my daughter to "act like a princess" at the table
>The repetitive "training" I give Benjamin to encourage him stop teasing
>The multiple anger-managment sessions with Christian
>The hours of hugs and “wead-a-book” time with Abigail to help her feel loved and secure
These mommy labor hours (and so many more) are what brought about that compliment. And I still relish it as a reward for hard work.
Yet, the compliment also reminded me of one other very important point. It’s only by God’s grace that my kids behaved well in art class. So rather than strive and struggle, I must remember to put all my parenting into His capable hands, running to Him, in prayer and the Scriptures, with each defeat and praising Him with the victories.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17 NIV