Just this morning I had a breakthrough. A victory over my mind. You see, I've been struggling with what on earth to do with my child. My situation is probably not unlike many of yours. Oliver is 3 and incredibly strong willed. He is also very verbal, and although that is mostly great for communicating it is also allowing him to speak up and talk back. Like most 3 year old kids he is emotional and dramatic - everything is an ordeal, for example; "Mama I need juice." "Oliver no, you already had juice. But you can have water if you're thirsty", then comes the meltdown and the throwing of toys and the screaming of "I can't like water! I want juice! Mama said nooooooo!" wah wah you get the picture, right? The challenge is that we do this over every.single.thing. Something that is no big deal at all is suddenly a catastrophe. I was getting worn out. I was spending the day mad at my child not giving him the patience he deserves from his mama. A lot of days it felt like just letting him do whatever he wanted was just so much easier. Is that too honest?
So back to this morning when I hear Oliver at 6:30am pounding and screaming at his door for me to let him out (waking up his brother) I lay in my bed already beyond frustrated that my day has to start. After I get up and bring Oliver into my room and get him to calm down and (I admit it) a bit resentfully say goodbye to my husband who is leaving for work I try and get a grip on myself. I look at my son, who is beautiful even with his tear stained cheeks and running nose. And the thought that comes to my mind is not "Why are you doing this to me?!" It is 'You are mine. And I cherish you.' ... It isn't how I felt in my mind, but that is my heart song for this boy that I feel has endlessly tested and frustrated me.
So here's the point.
This is my job, this is what it's like to raise my child. I can't fight it or sulk about because what good would that do? It is worth it to put in the time because I want to raise my children to be respectful, well mannered and caring human beings. I want my sons to be good stewards of their possessions and teach their children the same values. It won't always be this way exactly, but it will always be something, I've learned that much.
Yet I know that these seasons hold just as much precious as they do challenge. So in spite of what feels like an ongoing tantrum I try to grit my teeth and cherish my boy - just the way he is at this moment, with his tears of frustration and confusion as he learns (and I learn how to teach him) how to shape his conscience and character. These are important times for him, more crucial for learning basic values than it is for me to drink my morning coffee in peace - because I know that one day I'll be an old woman and have more quiet than I can stand with my children grown and away and all that I will want is to have stomping loud clattering commotion around my feet.
I know I will still have to take this day by day. I won't always feel victorious. My heart wont always win out over my mind and body. But I hope that I can keep things in perspective...