This is a long one, so stick with me kid. I've been brewing on it for awhile.
Everyday I try to remind my kids to be brave and kind. At times the world can be a scary, hurtful place and they will need to navigate it appropriately. The other day, we were in the "work" of just being a family. It wasn't pretty, but it was real.
Ben was really struggling with some school work. He was getting so frustrated, crying, and a bit hysterical. I normally wouldn't share something so personal here, but I want to remember it, and if he ever chooses to read this, for him to truly know.
All his negative emotions came out of no where. He was saying ugly things that we would never tell him in a million years. They just flowed out of him. He was yelling that he was a failure. The truth is, I was failing miserably. I couldn't snap him out of it. I wasn't making the situation better. If anything, it was escalating. I wanted him to understand grace for himself and have confidence. He wanted to be perfect. I was at a loss as a mother in that moment. And to make matters worse, it was all VERY familiar to me. He came by it naturally. I used to do the exact same thing. I'm emotional and intensely hard on myself. So, I felt even more at fault.
This is one of only the times that I haven't been able to "fix" or "nurture" the situation to being better. I couldn't love that child more, but at that moment my love wasn't enough. We decided to take a break from it and come back to it, but Mr. N came in at the perfect time and he "reset" Ben.
It was magical.
Ben later came to the dinner table having conquered the assignment beautifully. He was happy and felt great about himself. At this point I was thrilled that Mr. N was so successful. And then, I realized that I had failed Ben. I felt defeated.
I was thrilled for Ben's success, and I can't really explain it, but I was almost jealous that Mr. N could do it. I wanted to be the saver. I know that's not pretty or popular to admit, but it is true. Mr. N even called me out on it. I've been so used to being the one that could "fix" the kids, or who they would run to. It makes me nervous and sad to see Ben fighting the same battles that I fought all those years ago. It made me feel like it is somehow my fault that he got that "flaw" from me. I remembered this....
"Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord.
Lift your hands toward Him for the life of your young children."
I realized this...I have to forgive myself. I am so hard on myself first and foremost. I can forgive anyone in a split second, and I'm over it. I've moved on. But, to forgive myself is just brutal. Really brutal. I just can't do it. And now, I have a child that does the same thing. What a lesson before me. To be able to teach my child about forgiving himself, I have to do it first to show him. I have some work to do.
As the kids are headed back to school, with new classrooms, teachers, and friends, I revisited "The power of the praying parent." I was reminded that my children are not mine. God drove this home with me. Ben and Sam are not mine. They are His. I will not have all the answers. Thank goodness I'm married to the person intended for me, because Mr. N is the perfect ying to my yang. He swooped in to handle Ben like he would handle me. I'm not great in those situations, but my gift is loving with all that I am. I am one lucky woman to be loved for exactly who I am. One lovely, loving, hot mess.
When Ben felt success, his whole heart shined out of him. My light glowed for him. This motherhood thing is only getting harder. Thank goodness I'm not alone. And tomorrow is another day to love and forgive.