Tuesday, May 10, 2016

drama and parenting and finding the grace to be imperfect

"Son though he was, [Jesus] learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him..." Hebrews 5:8-9

When my children were very young, I lived in fear of their drama. There were days I thought I would not be able to handle one more meltdown over the color of a sippy cup. The depth of mourning a toddler can produce simply because a piece of toast has crusts attached to it is legendary. I still can't talk about the screaming that once happened because my child didn't want to touch the sand at the beach one summer. I'm scarred, you guys.

Back then I comforted myself with the thought that someday they would be big and this would end.

Thankfully, it kind of did, for about fifteen minutes last year. It was glorious. Then preteen hormones seeped into our family dynamic. Yowza!! Talk about drama.

Grouchy preteens will make you long for the days of the Toast Crust Tragedy.

I've had to learn to soften my voice. Youths offended by the existence of rules and reality benefit from a soothing environment. We make lots of jokes and keep plenty of food around. When all they want is to get away from everyone who is annoying them, but they can't because we are so fun to hang out with and the pantry is well-stocked with chips and cereal, it's kind of delightful to see them accept that being loved and cared for by us is better than making their own life on the streetz.

I don't live in fear of the drama this time around. I've lowered my expectations. I no longer allow myself to long for the fairy land where I always know exactly what to say and do, and my children conquer the human condition by being delightful 24/7. I have let us all off the hook a little. My success as a parent doesn't depend upon my ability to perfectly solve every drama-laden problem today. Their success as future adults doesn't depend on their ability to be mature beyond their years.

Belonging to each other and to God turns the real world into a kind of messy fairy land.

We are all learning obedience through what we suffer as a result of loving imperfect people in an imperfect world. Our God turns our failures into His own victories, swallowing up our drama in His greater grace.

Perspective truly saves us from our ignorance. I think I missed a few of the joys when they were little because I was trying so hard to be a good-enough mom. I don't want to miss anything on the crazy drama train this time.

I just want to enjoy the ride.

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