I’m not sure this even warrants a blog post. And grandparents you probably should stop here because it’s all about “the precious.” But alas, here I am writing about it so humor me and follow along if you dare. Last week I wrote a charming and witty (just play along here and pretend it was) post about being a Fire Breathing Dragon Mommy. You know those moments we all have as moms where we unleash terror onto our family. Because, for the love, they just can’t get it together and they are losing their ever loving minds. You snap, come unglued, expel things out of your mouth that non one can comprehend and makes you sound akin to the Tazmanian devil from Looney Toons. No one really knows what you are saying, including yourself, but you blast it out and it sounds serious and scary (queue Marshmallow from Frozen again because honestly that’s the only movie any of us know anymore).
Well yesterday I had one such moment – make that 30 minutes – that bordered my child needing to be put in a straight jacket, or an exorcism (it was a close toss up there), until his demons fled his body (either through prayer or through him meeting the hand of Jesus in the form of the mom swat from front seat to back seat). For crying out loud (which my four year old loudly did) we had to leave the park. The tragedy and abuse that comes from a parent saying “it’s time to go.” The struggle is real for them y’all. The world is ending. They have first world problems.
After the nuclear meltdown began, we finally got in the car (which miraculously I calmly led him to). He continued to scream and I had a choice to make in that moment. I could either react and spew mommy fire right back all over him, or I could pray for Jesus to fix it (hence my favorite hashtag #jesusfixit). One would work, the other would make it worse. I had a 50/50 shot. Well Jesus didn’t really fix it in that exact moment, but He did seal my lips. I mean there is no arguing with a four year old and certainly no reasoning with him when he is at the spitting pea soup level. I mean can you really reason with them anyway? So there I sat driving tiny count Dracula all the way home as he screamed, cried, told me it was my fault, and called me “mean OLD mama.” Wait, what? First of all name calling is a mistake, but calling me OLD is on a whole new level of wrong. In an effort to not lose MY every loving mind, I bit my lip to keep from laughing uncontrollably.
I know, I know. I’m writing about a personal story and we all have kids that lose their marbles and have epic tantrums. Blah, blah, blah. What's new. The point is, when faced with these moments (and mamas we all have them) we have a decision to make. We can jump in the tantrum pit with them or we can be the adult. Sounds easy but if you are like me it is hard - SO HARD - not to let your emotions take over your words and actions.
It was much easier than I thought to close my eyes for a few seconds, take some deep breaths, and pray for God to intervene. And instead of screaming back at my son, I was miraculously able to calmly talk him down off the cliff and explain to him why his actions were unacceptable. I wanted to yell, I wanted to cry, and I wanted to spank him. And not that spankings are bad (I won’t debate that), but it was not appropriate for our heat of the moment. He was actually dealt a far greater punishment by grounding him and then making him tell his daddy what he did. He was remorseful (even about calling me old and mean - although I'm not sure I'm quite over it). And he was told he was loved even when he disappointed us.
Our children deserve consequences, but they also deserve grace and mercy just as we do. I believe these moments are the prime opportunity to teach them about Jesus – about sin and how He died for our ugly moments. He gives us so much grace and He loves us even when we too are throwing tantrums of epic proportions.