3 kids and 3 mirrors of myself: PART 1
Well, one of the most revolutionizing things as a parent is to see yourself in your kids and also see how some things never change. God speaks through these little mirrors ALL. THE. TIME. It's like he is revealing the inner places of my heart through the mess of trying to raise these little hearts. I've heard it said that if you want to really learn something, try to teach it. It's really true. When you try and explain how something works, you really have to understand it yourself first. Applying this to parenting, and you get to know yourself better by trying to raise people to be better than yourself. Have more faith, have more manners, treat people with more kindness than you do. It's impossible. It's humbling. It involves some kind of faith, no matter what you believe in.
My oldest. Noah. He is SO much like his daddy. However, this one particular day, he was an absolute mirror into my soul. I took on the task of taking 3, yes all 3 of my kids to Best Buy to ask a simple question about a phone, so that we wouldn't lose the offer we had signed up for on a promotion. I had planned to be there about 15 minutes. Well, of course, the person who I needed to speak to, did not come in for about 20 minutes, and then needed a good 20 minutes to answer my question. So the boys were getting restless. They had looked at all the screens, they had sat still for a good while, they had eaten 2 snacks each and I was desperate. So, I took out my phone, which has ONE game on it, and let them look at it for the remaining 5-10 minutes. Then it was time to go. Well, Luke, my 3 year old immediately had a tantrum because he is very expressive, so I was dragging him out. Noah, on the other hand was repeating, "Mom, Can I just look at it, please?" "Mom, can I just look at your phone, please?" "Mom, just me. Can I just look at it mom? Please?" Through Luke's screams, I was saying "No, Noah, not right now, we have to go." and it was making him more uneasy each time. "But mom! I asked nicely!" "Mom, pleeeease!!!!!" I keep saying no because I need to have my phone by me when I'm driving, and there are many, many reasons why I don't want to escalate the situation with Luke. So my answer was no. And now Noah lost it. He burst into tears and said, "BUT MOM!!!! I ASKED NICELY!!!" and proceeded to wail and cry because the answer wasn't what he was hoping for, it wasn't what he wanted. I then started saying "Noah, you can't handle this right now, see? You are crying over a silly phone. It's just not the time right now. I let you see it, and now that time is over, so I'm sorry but the answer is no." "BUT MOM!!! I CAN HANDLE IT!!!!!" he says through shrieks of crying and sniffles. "Noah, you can't handle it, you are crying a lot!" Then comes the mirror. He sucks up all of his tears and holds it in while he wimpers "see.ee....eee mom? I'm not crying (sniffle sniffle) I can handle it, I promise I can handle it" and then burst into tears again. It just stopped me in my tracks. How many times I have cried out to the Lord, "God! I CAN HANDLE THIS!" and his loving answer is "No, Angela, you can not handle this right now." Even when I ask nicely, even when I do EVERYTHING I think I need to do in order to get the thing I want, it's really not up to me. Sometimes the answer is no. Sometimes the answer is not right now. Back to the story, we all calmed down. The tears stopped, the I love you's came, and the rest of the day went on. However, my heart changed. My heart understood a little bit better why God says no sometimes. And why He says, not right now.