Friday, December 3, 2010

A Missed Opportunity

Yesterday was tough - you know the ones. Days where words fly out of your mouth before you can catch them and before long you are regretting the things you have said but just can't seem to hold your mouth closed to stop more from coming out.

Yesterday was a big deal in King Arthur's life - his nursery school graduation day. His nursery school holds this little ceremony to bless the children as they leave nursery school and go on to 'big school' (in my case, supposedly!). It's a lovely touch - they perform songs they've been practicing for weeks, introduce themselves, say what they'd like to be when they grow up (King Arthur, who won't hurt an ant, said he wanted to be a hunter!!!), and their teacher speaks an individual blessing over each of them in turn. So very precious. But all the practices and rehearsals for this event have taken its toll on the kids, and their teacher reminded them they all needed to have a rest today.

So, I arrived home with a somewhat weary yet excited King Arthur, who when we stopped outside the gate, told me he didn't want to open the garage (he does the garage, Aragorn does the gate). And I lost it completely. I heard him say he wasn't going to open it, and I took it personally (for the record he did later defend himself by saying he just didn't feel like it).

I went off on a tangent, about how many times I have to do things I don't really want to do, and how little I actually ask of them....and the more I said the more I fueled the fire and the angrier I became. I think as adults we forget how narrow our children's worlds are - they can't possible multi-task as much as we do. I told them to make their own lunch and sort themselves out, and didn't do a thing to help. I lambasted him, and the other two by default. Oh my. Looking back I think the root of the matter was that this is one of the very few things that I do ask them to do on a regular daily basis. One thing and they complain!!!!!!

Slowly, as the afternoon wore on I realized what a foul mood I was in, and God showed me that instead of choosing to react to this situation, I had missed an opportunity to ACT, to TRAIN my child. It is my job as a parent to train them, to cultivate helpful attitudes - these things do not always come naturally. God also showed me that by continuing to fuel this fire I was actually robbing King Arthur of the love and affirmation he needed on this his special day, and that should I continue like this, he would not be assured of my love when he had to stand up and speak in front of everyone at graduation.

I held my lips closed. I said less. By the time bath time came around I had explained again why I was so cross, and my tone was no longer angry and condemning. God reminded me how much I had hated opening the gate, and how often I would pretend to be asleep when we got home late with my parents so my brother would have to open the gate. Dinner time came, and I roped in King Arthur to help lay the table for the special meal we had made for him. And in the car, more repair work was done. Until finally, in the dark of his bedroom, I confess and ask for forgiveness.

I have learnt a lesson today. May I remember it well in the heat of the moments that will surely come....

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing Karen-I've been having a few of these days lately! :-( I feel like the Lord is saying "hold your tongue, watch your words-choose to control your anger". It's so easy to let that anger take control, but such a blessing when you can be an example of love. Love forgives, Love forgets the wrongs, Love uses these moments to mould us..... thankfully you are clay in His hands! Be blessed by this experience, He's moulding you! :-)