The offspring (can you call your adopted children, offspring?) were trying to look busier than their siblings, so I wouldn’t hand them a task. I was distracted by the unanswerable questions that 16 year-old girls ask. If I answered straight up, they’d see my responsibility to minister to those I’m in relationship with. I get enough of that from Jesus, as it is.
Then, somebody did something awesome.
I’d like to give credit, but time passed. I wouldn’t be able to remember 15 years of pop music if I made brain space for things like who did this one thing. The fact is, whoever did, whatever it was, is lost in the mists of time, but it stopped me in my tracks.
“It all boils down to loving the child God gave you.”
About 10 years ago, Robyn, told me to, “Enjoy your kids.”
I ignored her, because I was more concerned with fitting them into my idea of “what life should look like”, than who they were designed to be.
Today. I can’t not enjoy them.
My vision for homeschooling? I had to let that go.
We’re dreadfully undisciplined. We don’t invite our germaphobe friends here. It’s like the zoo. I don’t give them all organic foods. We fight. They talk back. They have bad habits that need to be broken; they call them sociological imperatives. Their table manners and their conversation make me want to lay down in a darkened room and remain until God takes me home.
Maybe we’re making up for lost time.
Maybe we did the rebellion thing when they were acting like mental patients as 10, 11, and 12 year-olds. One shares, as part of her Christian testimony, that her behavior toward me was deliberately destructive before she believed.
Maybe I’m an utter failure.
A long time ago, I told a counselor about my relationship with my dad, “He loves me, but he’s like that Eagles’ song, ‘Desperado’. He just doesn’t always express himself.”
He looked at me for a long second and said, “You are telling me about your relationship with the picture in your head of who your dad is.” He was saying, you have to deal with the dad God gave you.
I have to deal with the kids God gave me.
There was a moment last year that put every thought I had under the microscope: :
“Why am I wasting time on this?”
“Is this important enough to dedicate the energy to?”
“I am holding on too tight.”
“It’s okay for her to pout, as long as she does the task.”
“Is that the worst thing that can happen?”
Those thoughts drove to the heart of living for my mental picture of the perfect child, the incredible mother, the ideal public image.
Of course, I’m back to majoring on the minors– Who didn’t put the
freaking toilet paper on the holder? Whose cups are all these in the living room? Why can’t we follow the towel guidelines?
Back to saddling up and riding behinds.
Back to deciding if it’s a cross to bear or a broom to ride.
Enjoying them when they need their butts kicked. It’s a complex art.
Someone has to do it.
Loving the kids God gave me.
Making up for lost time.