Today was one of those mornings that I would have abhorred “before.” It started out regular enough. Alarms went off, kids up watching TV, but then a little distraction, running a bit behind schedule… A tired kindergartner, who really wanted to pour the drinks leading to a wild and loud tantrum. They say the age of tantrums is two years old. I SOOOOO disagree. That is just when tantrums START. My hubby and I can still throw a good tantrum when the mood strikes us and we are in our 40’s. The clock is ticking, the kindergartner is hiding between the couches wailing, refusing to eat because, “I WANTED TO POUR THE DRINKS.” My mood is slightly escalating because I still have to get her to calm down (this is the bigger task) and eat, so that she can get on the bus. Then this happens (this is not our cat, but this is essentially what happened).
I don’t care who you are and how much you love animals. That is funny because it is just self perpetuating- much like the tantrum. The more scared the cat gets the worse the situation becomes. The more I try to get A to reason, the louder she gets. And this happened to our timid cat. I will not see her all day. NOTHING will bring her out of hiding. Greg was able to find her and remove the bag, but she is mortified. Not even food will bring her out. Same goes with the daughter. Me: “You are going to miss the bus.” “ARRRRRRR BUT I WANTED TO POUR THE JU-u-u-ICE!!!!” Me: ” A I am going to have to take away the LOL you’ve been working on earning.” “BUT I AM STILL UPSET….. sniff, sniff. Can I have something to wipe my face because it is all wet.” Before– this type of morning would have just sent me off the edge. I’m gonna be late, they aren’t going to get on the bus and I will have to drive them to school and this was all over grape juice!!!!! But this morning, I just walked away. A FINALLY came to her senses and she gobbled down some cereal and was smiling at me as she got her cute little legs up those gigantic bus steps. And now- I can take a moment and realize that this was the BEST MORNING EVER. These are the mornings you want to be here. To be a parent. To embrace the stage that your kids are at and to laugh at the absurdity of life. Because life really is absurd.
I graciously discovered a book, “Talking with your kids about God: 30 conversations every Christian parent must have.”( focus on the family link to the book by Natasha Crain) . So I have been trying to make God more of a presence in our house. For some of you that may be a weird statement because it is natural for you. For some, you get right where I am at. And then there are those of you whom this is a low priority. I get it. I was right there with you- before. And truthfully, how do you start that conversation when mostly we talk about Pokemon, unicorns and toilet habits (and grape juice as my story above illustrates). And then there is this whole fatigue thing. After a long day and I’m in a little pain and you know the Flash is on Netflix- who wants to have a philosophical conversation with a 9 year old? Well, I do. Because this little voice inside me goes, “NOW would be a good time.”
Elegantly I ask, “So guys, guys, GUYS…” (discussion about Rhiador stops- that’s a Pokemon. I think.). “What would you say if someone told you God didn’t exist?” Silence ensues. M: “I would say that I respect their opinion, but I disagree.” C: “How could God not exist? I mean, how do you explain how we got here? How things are made? What the universe is?” Me (thinking): This is not as smooth as the author makes it out to be! But I went with it and we talked a little more. But I’m not sure that I really gave them anything. The conversation lasted about 5 minutes before turning back to the Flash and Survivor… Do I get an “A” for effort? I don’t know. All I know is for approximately 22 of my 40 years God was a minimal presence on the verge of inconvenience. That intellectual conversations discarded God as a possibility. That liberal viewpoints blamed religion for the social injustices of the world. And that thoughts of WWJD were really just a catch phrase and not a philosophy. That I grew up not knowing a Christian lifestyle, even though I was brought up in a Christian home. That fear, frustration, doubt, culture, convenience kept me from the table of Christ. That I was running mortified and becoming ill petrified me until my Holy Father “removed the bag” and invited me back to the table, even through the invitation had never been rescinded.
I have no idea what I am doing. That is evident. But, I pray daily that I can provide tools for myself and my family to serve the Lord with a confidence that I have not known before. But how do I do that? I’m trying. Is that enough? I am not as petrified as a once was, but now that I am out, how do I raise with conviction my children, myself, my world? I guess I will just start with taking a seat at the table.