We celebrated small successes yesterday. He had good behavior… He just didn't do his work. Baby steps towards progress. (Today was his "best day yet"! YAY!)
The only thing he wanted to do was play outside with his best friend. He lost that privilege after a day full of bad decisions on Monday so my plea to him before a new day began was that if he wanted his play time he had to stay on green. Green he got and to my word he was sure to hold me. Never mind the fact that I had inadvertently left the completion of work off the checklist of specifics. (Didn't know I had to be so specific! This kid is good at navigating/manipulating the details. Remind me to check all the fine print!)
He woke up bright and early today and asked to ride his scooter outside. Burn off some energy before school for 30 minutes? It was a splendid idea. He obediently came inside to eat a healthy breakfast and get dressed. I turned my head for a second to deal with a precocious doodle who'd left a trail of paper shredded all over the floor when I realized a certain little boy had escaped outside. I had been specific this time. "Take your vitamins. Brush your teeth. Do not go back outside." Denied. All three instructions ignored.
One thing led to another and a series of somewhat catastrophic events resulted in a domino effect of ill-will and frustrations. No self-control, a lack of focus, the inability to complete a task, disrespect... And I'm not talking about the kid. I'm talking about me.
How could this child whom I love and adore, the one whom I prayed and longed for, been able to bring out a side of me I never knew existed?! There are moments when we look at our children and wonder if they're little aliens trying to adjust to our spinning world. Then there are moments where we look at ourselves and wonder if these little immigrants have the ability to truly make us lose all sense of maturity. The ability to maintain sanity suddenly becomes an absurdity. Yes, this is where I found myself.
I was ashamed of myself for my knee-jerk reaction. Even worse I couldn't recognize the monster I had just demonstrated. How could I teach this little man to grow in stature and wisdom and grace when I was presenting him with quite the opposite? If I was frustrated with him and his lack of maturity and poor decision making then I had to be willing to point the finger back to myself. I'd just given him the best (worst) example of how to act, react and live. Shame on me.
I wiped both our tears and hugged him and apologized. I was sorry for hurting his feelings and he said he was sorry for not obeying.
So it goes... God continues to teach and grow me. He's not done with me yet (thank goodness, because otherwise I know so many would be disappointed with the outcome). He's promised to complete the work He began. I have to remember the same is true of my little man. I also have to remember that he bears a strong resemblance to me. The life I live out in front of him is part of how he will learn. I've got to take my cues from my Heavenly Father because there's a little life taking cues from me. I can only hope He would say I resemble Him because what I'm watching before me looks a lot like me.