I have spent the last 48 Saturday mornings woken up to the sound of the boys practicing their "brotherly love" downstairs. I'm not a morning person anyway, though sleeping in around here is MAYBE 0900. Waking up to that is not a good way to start a weekend. I have taken to just lying there in my bed, hunkered under the blankets, too afraid to enter the pit of antagonism.
So, this morning, when there was a knocking on my door, my instant reactive thought was, "Oooh, who's doing what now? Can't they just get along?" I said, "What?" preparing to hear the latest infraction that has ended the world, or at least my peaceful slumber. But when I opened the door, there was Jaden standing there, face full of pride and accomplishment as he presented me with his finished poster (which looked really nice by the way) for his upcoming social studies project. I was thrilled to say the least. I was expecting a bit of a battle with this project, at the very least some major prodding on my part. THIS is the Jaden I know. The organized, responsible, helpful and happy-go-lucky kid. This Jaden has been a bit elusive at times over this past year. What a wonderful gift! I am so proud of him: for taking the responsibility for his project, for doing it without a fight and for starting off this weekend really, really well!
Then this afternoon, I get a "letter" in the mail from Craig's school. "Uhhh, great...it's not time for grades, what now?!" was (again) my pessimistic thought. I opened it and read:
"Dear Parents, You can be very proud of the academic accomplishments of your child. We wish to honor you and your outstanding student at an Honors Reception on Monday, June 1, 2009, at 7:00 PM."
It goes on, but what a great honor to watch your child work so hard to achieve what he has this year, to maintain good grades as well as be a good friend and person, especially with his dad gone, a move and sickness and death in the family in the past two years).
The best thing about this: Chuck will be home (God willing) in plenty of time June 1 to see his son receive this award!
(Sorry this is braggy, but hey, it's my blog!) There is a bigger lesson here than education and rewards, it's about MY attitude I get as a parent sometimes. I haven't allowed them off the hook because their dad is gone and it is has been REALLY challenging most days, especially with no back up! In the quest to have children that turn out as productive adults (and we all have different ideas of "productive"); I sometimes get so focused on correction and discipline and everything they don't do right, that I forget to see the wonderful things they do, the good friends they are, the great helpers they are, how kind they are to elderly people, how they can have intelligent conversations with anyone of any age they meet, etc.
I need to change my outlook back to seeing the good things they do, to acknowledge the wonderful people these boys are becoming, in spite of me! If they turn out well at all, it isn't because of anything I have done except pray: for me to be the mother they need, and for them to grow to know and love and serve the Lord; and for all of us to have the grace to get there, one day at a time!