A few years ago, we had a missionary stay with us. On a plane of 400 people, she was literally the last person off the plane. She was in San Francisco for a class and she was never
on time. Finally, the teacher told her if she was late, or missed one more class, she was out of the program. As we saw her off , I asked my husband, "Knowing what we know now, is it any wonder she was the last person off that plane? It was a sign."
And so it goes with parenting. When you're young and ignorant as a parent, you believe the "experts" when they say your kid should do this or do that -- but as they get older, you come to see, well no wonder that didn't work, I was raising (insert child name here). Example? I had a child who would not eat meat and he was so thin! I worried he'd starve to death. I read all the experts, they told me to introduce new foods at least three times. I should try covering the foods with condiments they enjoy. I should make eating fun by making the meat look like an octopus or bug. Still, nothing. The kid wouldn't eat meat. So I went to my pediatrician and said somewhat frantically, "Dr. Lathrop, Treyman won't eat meat! Only a McDonald's hamburger, that's it!" The doctor was ready to retire, and he responded to my dramatics calmly, "So once a week, take him to McDonald's and buy him a hamburger."
I believe you've graduated as a mother when you learn to listen to your own instincts, and blow off people who judge your kids so harshly, when you become their ally, their staunchest defender when they are wrongly accused. You have great kids who were put on this earth to do whatever God DESIGNED them to do. Not what the experts say they are designed to do.
Treyman is 13 on Sunday. Dang, he's a fabulous kid. Funny! Smart! Gorgeous! (yeah, I know, I'm his mom) but Trey has never been broken easily and he's always had a mind of his own. He was not an easy kid to parent. I have the ER bills to prove it. He'd just wander off. He was afraid of nothing! (In fact, to teach him to swim, I let him fall in the pool to prove to him it was dangerous -- he wasn't going to listen!) Now that he's thirteen, I find this a fabulous trait because he's not a follower. And here's the beauty part about parenting adolescents, the humiliation power shifts. Now, my dancing to an 80's tune in the coffee shop, will send him RUNNING for the door. "Mom, you are soooooo embarrassing!" he says, rolling his eyes.
"Of course I am," I tell him. "I learned from the master."
One of my favorite Trey stories is when our new church held its first outdoor Good Friday service. It was dinnertime, so I told the boys "Let Mommy take communion and then go to the car and we'll get dinner." I took communion with my baby girl in my arms, my boys obediently following behind me like three little ducklings. As we get back to the mini-van, I'm having one of those proud mommy moments that everything worked like it was supposed to! I'm imagining the parenting book I will someday write...
Then, with horror, I notice that Trey has the entire communion loaf of French bread in his hands, and he's ripping it in half to share with his brothers. "It's good, huh?" he's asking them. The hunter was sharing his spoils and he wore the smile of a proud warrior. He never stood still for a moment, and I think the fact that he's alive and well at thirteen is a testimony to the fact that I ROCK as a mother! LOL But oh, the days I sobbed.
The Trophy Wives' Club is starting to ship, so preorder your copy now and be the first on your block to own it. : )