An honest answer is like a warm hug. Proverbs 24:26 (The Message)
This week was the last class of the parenting class I was teaching for moms at church. I’ve mentioned it before, it is a “do as I say, not as I did” class as I encourage these mothers who still have children at home that they will survive. I have enjoyed being with all these young moms as we have laughed and cried over the frustrations and joys of raising children. Much of the laughter has been directed my way as I felt compelled to tell stories on myself about times I failed to be the perfect mom. One week, one of the moms confided, “I just love it that you threw a rollerblade at your child.” Well, that’s one way to look at it! At the time, I wasn’t laughing. In the wall of my kitchen there is still a hole in the drywall from the rollerblade incident. Oldest son was a bugger to get to do his homework. He was perfectly capable of doing it being gifted and all. But, he was also smart enough to manipulate me into doing it for him. He knew all my buttons. He’d whine and carry on about it being “too hard” (oh, poor baby, he was after all not only gifted, but learning disabled) or “too tired” (if only I didn’t work outside the home we could have had this done and over with instead of still being at it at 9:00) or he “needed my help” (Mommas love to help). There I’d be up to my ears in second grade spelling words or fourth grade math while he fiddled around waiting for me to get it done. One night, I must have had a hard day at work or been PMSing because despite my best intentions, I just couldn’t stand it anymore and lost my cool. I reached for the first thing I could put my hands on, a rollerblade. I threw it in his direction. He ducked and the skate lodged in our wall. Both of us had an uh oh moment as he fled the room and I stared at the hole wondering how I would explain it to my husband. Though I shoved a table in front of it, I know it is still there. So, does my class of moms. Now, so do you. I understand what this young mom was saying. It made her feel better to know that she is not the only mom who loses her cool and makes a mistake in raising her child. It made her feel better to know that mine eventually grew up and became fine young men who are not in therapy (at least yet). Her ornery two year old will be okay as well. It is important not only that we have people in our lives to mentor, but that we know the value of being transparent. They are much more likely to listen when they know that I know what it is like to be human.