When I’m frustrated, I make this horrible grunting/groan type sound.
It’s awful, really.
My knowledge of the sound I make was realized when I kept hearing my youngest make the sound. Everytime she would get upset at someone, she made that noise, and she made it loud and long. I told her to please stop making that terrible sound.
Then I got upset about something and I made the sound. “Oh. She gets that from me.”
I was thinking about how I could ask my children to help me by gently saying something like, “Mom, you’re making that sound” every time I did it. But then another thought came in. “You are the parent. You shouldn’t have your children correct you.”
Where did that thought come from? What voice put that in my head? Maybe a parenting expert?
It’s not that I want my children to correct me, it’s that I want them to encourage me to stop doing something I want to stop doing. They’re my people; we help each other. I realize I am their authority for this season of their life, but I also realize, I’m just human.
And we, together, are just walking this life out together, imperfectly, humanly, as we lean into faith.
I am their mother, and I intend to do my best to lead and instruct them, but I also want them to see me as flawed and in need of Jesus everyday, because I am, and I do.
There are so many should’s and should not’s and it kind of exhausts me. And confuses me sometimes. And makes me neurotic. I often say I want to parent from my gut, listening to that inner whisper that so gently guides. I like to think that God puts that whisper in the soul of a mother to help her along, to help me along. And then to also have the Holy Spirit tangled up in me, and God’s Word directing me, I can do this; I can mother. And thank God He gives us wisdom through mothers who have gone before us, and who are willing to teach us. Those women who have heeded God’s call to help the younger mothers, they are gifts.
But all of us, young and old, we are just so human. I want my kids to see my humanity. I want them to see me trying and listening and praying and working out this life, because I want them to know they are not alone in the human experience. I want them to see that life is not cookie-cutter, but it is beautiful. It’s hard and good and delightful and painful, but we get to do it together.
“Caroline” I say, “I’m so sorry I have been making that terrible noise and then yelling at you not to make it. How about this, I’ll help you and you help me. We’ll work on it together. Sound good?”
“Sounds good, mom.”
I show the way, but we walk together. And together, encouraging one another daily, we can do this life, and we can do it well.
One human, holy step at a time.
Keep on, sisters, SM
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