Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Learning on a Prayer

We had had a good first day of school. There were lots of smiles, decent excitement, and not too many bumps.

I was laughing as I was putting Deeter to bed- he was talking irrationally and emotionally, saying things like, "No one in this family even likes me," and any nicety I said to him was met with, "I hate you, mom." You get the idea of what we were dealing with! I knew Deeter was very tired and had exhausted a lot of energy doing something new that day and I knew his talk was a direct result of that. After all, that's not his usual temperament. That is his I'm-tired or I'm-hungry temperament. I generously allowed him the luxury of unwinding from a full productive day- even if that meant ugly talk- without repercussion or even mention of it. I was proud of him and what he had done that day and I love that he has a soft landing place where he doesn't have to be at-attention all the time. I was also very thankful for the years of raising kids I have under my belt that allowed me to realize it was nothing more than that- a tired, exhausted boy talking nonsense. I didn't know about these kind of things when I started this gig.

That night I was saying a prayer before climbing into bed. In my prayers, I was making mention of Deeter, and reminding myself that I was putting in all this hard work- planting seeds, if you will- that sure weren't producing any immediate, visible results. But, the gift of having kids before him, I knew that most likely this wasn't fruitless work. In fact, in my prayer, I said, "…and I know one day we'll be BFF's--"

And that's when I abruptly stopped. I caught myself. I saw the error in where I was going with this thought process. I'm not putting in all this hard work so that Deeter and I can be BFFs. And thank goodness for that, because, what if it never happens? I'd hate to gauge all my work as failure if me and Deetz don't have a heart shaped necklace, cut jaggedly down the middle, to share in the end.

That thought entered my mind, and then my prayer, because of Porter. I've mentioned a million times before how hard I've worked with Porter and knew pretty quickly after that I'd have to repeat the same work-intense pattern with Deeter. But what has happened with Porter and I, I realized in that moment, is an absolute gift. The fact that we can sit and laugh and that he wants to cuddle with me every spare minute he has, and that it's super hard to ruffle our feathers, was never guaranteed. It's not an entitlement to have a friendship with my kids. My job is to teach principle, to provide opportunity to employ said principle, to provide a forum where they can have a soft landing place for when they fall and then help them get up and try again and again and again, and to love them through it all. That is my responsibility and no where is it written that if I do all these things that I will have a great relationship with my child. Still the same, those are my responsibilities.

I will do it all for Deeter. I will give him my all regardless of what he dishes me back in return. I won't expect the precedent to be followed. But if the day comes where I am handed that gift of good friendship with Deeter, I will open it up and enjoy every single second of it, just as I am with his predecessor.

Life is good. I am completely infatuated with our family these days.

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