Yesterday at Alex's soccer game, I made a mom-of-teen faux pax.
He was the goalie, the ball passed by on the outside of the goal (good for his team), and headed toward the road...where there was a car coming.
I couldn't help it. Before I knew it, out of my mouth comes, "Watch the car, Alex!"
He shot me a look that said, "Really, Mom?!"
The other parents around me tittered. They knew I had blown it...and that I would hear it from my teen.
They were right. He told me later that I had thrown off his game, and that he missed the next shot that came to him at goal because he was afraid what would be coming out of my mouth. He also told me he would be keeping duct tape on hand in case I lost control again...and that he would leave the field and come use it.
I believe him. He was steamed...and embarrassed.
I slunk away mentally, properly chastised.
In my own defense, I still have a 5- and a 7-year old. I have to say that a lot still.
My little ones in particular seem to pay no attention, skipping (Jackson literally) through life, regardless of the dangers that may be there.
It is aggravating and frustrating. I feel like they should know by now to look both ways...not play with scissors...stop fighting or someone will get hurt...not tip the chair. I also feel like they should know to flush, to wash their hands, to bus their dishes at the end of the meal...on and on.
Sometimes I correct them patiently. Sometimes not.
But you know what I have discovered?
God, as my Parent, has to do the same thing with me.
In some ways it is exactly the same as when I correct my kids. I sometimes do the equivalent eye roll at the King of the Universe, thinking I know better than He. I threaten and cajole, trying to get my sinful way, even though His "no" has been very clear. I pout. I whine. I act like a total stinker.
But...in some ways, this Parent-child relationship is markedly different.
God does not lose control with me. He has high expectations of me, to be sure, but He does not have humanness to get in the way of the discipline...or the praise. He treats me with love always, regardless of what I have done, but corrects me each and every time I need it (which is a lot, let me tell you). He gives me the wings to soar when I need to, and hold me in His lap when I fail, encouraging me to try again.
Just this morning, I had a conversation with a dear friend whose wife is ill. I told him about pouting to God and telling Him, the God of the Universe, that I could not handle raising these kids on my own, that I must have Keith here to help me.
Some days I have felt like a failure in the area of parenting (see above...) and some days I have felt like I am doing OK. Regardless, God is there to correct me, reprimand me, guide me...but above all support me on this journey. No ego on His part, no 'tude being sported, no forgetting what I am capable of...and no mistakes.
May I follow that model as I raise my own children!
But, just in case, I'm headed to the store for a roll of duct tape for Tuesday's game.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.- Ephesians 1:2b-4