Wednesday, November 30, 2011
it's not my fault
I once heard something about parenting that has given me a lot to think about. Someone told me that as parents, we tend to take too much credit for our children's successes, and blame ourselves too much for their mistakes. In reality, these little people of ours come with their own unique packaging, traits and talents and agency created by a loving Heavenly Father, wrapped and sent to us to bless us, try our patience, and teach us a gazillion different things.
A few weeks ago a woman in our ward came up to me following relief society and told me that she had cleaned the church with my family the day before (not me, I was being lazy at home!). She said she was so touched by their willingness and sweet attitudes as they worked.
Ummm. My children? I'll admit, it took the words right out of my mouth.
Because I have the privilege of witnessing my children in all their glory (that being the good along with the very most stinkerish moments), I sometimes lose sight of what great little people they can be. In fact, I try to remember another piece of parenting wisdom I once heard. (I put all of these little bits in a special place and pull them into my mind when I'm teetering on the edge of a perceived parenting failure.) Someone told me that everyone needs a safe place to fall apart. So when my kids are a complete mess, I try to remind myself that I'm glad that they can fall apart at home. After all, I want home to be their safe place- the place where they can be their best and worst and will know we'll love them either way. That said, I have the glorious opportunity of witnessing a whole lot of falling-aparts.
Anyway, it was really nice of this kind sister to tell me something nice about my girls. She even teared up a little bit when she told me so I could see she was really touched. It took me back a little, because they sometimes move me to tears when they are working at our house, but not in quite the same way if you know what I mean. More in a make-me-want-to-crawl-back-in-bed-and-pull-the-sheets-over-my-head sort of way. Anyhow, it was super duper heartening to hear a bit of good news and it made me decide two things:
1. When I see something good in a child, I am going to share that with their parents, straight-away. Who doesn't like to hear those kind of things?
2. I need to give my children more credit for being good people, all on their own. It's not my fault. They just come that way.
However. I do have a little boy here who happens to be the cutest, sweetest little guy that ever was. He just came that way. So, what I'm wondering it this. Is it okay for me to flatter myself by thinking I might just have a leeetle bit to do with that? It would make me feel like a genius of sorts. He really is pretty much perfect.
On second thought, he looks an awful lot like his dad (just like the rest of 'em). But how about the sweet part? Maybe sometimes I can be sweet?
I'll ponder that whilst I spend the rest of the morning watching movies with my Claire-girl. Today's a bit of a down day for this 'ol body of mine, which means I'm giving myself permission to do absolutely nothing. You should try it. Maybe we'll snuggle by our newly decorated tree and watch a Christmas movie. That sounds very nice. Claire's new favorite is "How the Crunch Stealed Christmas". It's a good one. . .