Mother Hen is Shown the Way and Likes it Very Much

It struck me (remember, not the brightest bulb in the box) quite strongly a few weeks ago that my children are actually…people. I was lying in bed, thinking about my day, making plans for the next, going in and out of my daydreams like I was strolling in and out of the fine stores at Utica Square when, all of a sudden, I imagined Gideon, upstairs, doing the same.

Come again? That my 4-year old son and my 2-year old daughter actually have hopes and ideas and daydreams was a bit of wake-up call to me. Isn’t it so easy to just see our little ones as mindless robots who simply need to be fed, bathed and entertained? I began to realize that I often just try to put out their fires as quickly as possible, caring more about getting them to shush than really trying to understand what they are crying about in the first place. And I usually do so in order that I might get back to what I was doing…

And so imagine my surprise when I came across my friend Katie’s blog titled “Parenting ‘People'”, focusing on the very thing I had started to think about, but adding depth and Biblical insight to it, as well as practical advice on how to parent our children with dignity and respect: http://lifeasworship.blogspot.com/2011/07/parenting-people.html

Coincidence??

Never.

That very day, I began getting on my knees to really listen to Rebekah and comfort her, even if her distress was over something petty in my eyes, like running out of fruit snacks ~ as an adult, I understand perfectly that we can get more fruit snacks on our next grocery run; Rebekah, however, probably thinks that her most favorite food is gone forever…distressing indeed! I began to empathize with Gideon, feeling his pain and frustration when he looked for three seconds to find his Batman mask before giving up in a fit of rage mingled with despair; after all, three seconds to a little boy is quite a long time, and I, too, hate it when I can’t find something. On the other hand, it comforts and cheers me when someone helps me to find what is missing.

It was amazing how little time it took to show my little people a bit of dignity, and you know what’s really funny? Those fires I was so eager to extinguish went out a lot faster and for longer periods of time when I began making the effort to get to the root of them instead of just sprinkling shallow water on them in my haste, distraction and self-centeredness.

My amazing Mr. Gore is always ahead of the game, putting his faith (and somehow mine) into action…

Yesterday, we went swimming at Grandpa and Grandma’s house (“we” = everybody but me and Betsie). Chris, who happens to strongly dislike swimming, spent hours in the pool with Gideon and Rebekah, catching them over and over again, playing with them under that hot Oklahoma sun, pushing them on the swing, helping them up the fort ladder…after a night of many sleep interruptions from our littlest Gore, he had to be majorly exhausted by the afternoon’s end.

When it was time to begin our two-hour trek home, he loaded up all our luggage and locking up the house, came to join us in the van where Gideon, also utterly spent and seconds away from crashing, had been howling for him for about five minutes. I had forgotten my little resolution to treat my kids like humans by listening to them and had been nagging, albeit gently, “Gideon, shhhh! Gideon, stop crying. Gideon, you’re being too loud. Gideon, its time to be quiet now. Gideon…Gideon…GiDeOn!” But the boy wanted his Papa and “couldn’t stop crying”. Grrrrr, if hens could growl…

Chris took his place in the driver’s seat and took a deep breath, gearing up for the long and tiring drive home. Gideon continued to cry and just as I was about to turn around and really give it to him, he said “Papa…I need you to HOLD me for just a little bit longer!’ I gave an exasperated sigh and waited for Chris to rebuke him for whining. Instead, he chose to blow me away.

My husband “took up his cross” and, unbuckling his seatbelt, got back out of the van, opened the back door, and leaning across the front seat, wrapped his arms around our son. Gideon immediately stopped crying, basking in his father’s love, taking comfort in his strong and loving embrace. I was speechless…convicted, humbled, the works…and all of a sudden, very aware of my attraction to my Mister. In fact, when he returned to his seat, I was eyeballing him like a woman in love, tempted to cock my head and say “How you doin’?…”

Gideon was asleep before we left the driveway. The mercy and love of Christ was palpable. I was enthralled with my husband…

This “treating kids like people” thing really works. In fact, I’d say its good for the whole family…

Just ask Mr. Gore. Wink, wink. Nudge nudge.

2 thoughts on “Mother Hen is Shown the Way and Likes it Very Much

  1. Oh, so true! I remember reading “Secrets of the Baby Whisperer” when pregnant and one concept that really stuck out with me was her theme of treating even infants with respect. One example she mentions was our chronic habit of saying “Oh, you’re ok…” when our children are crying. When obviously they are not ok! That little tidbit has really stuck with me as a mother, and always challenges me to reach for my inner counseling major to say, “You must feel so fill-in-the-blank” instead!

    • It is so funny how many times I have caught myself saying “You’re okay!” to my kids since I read this. I didn’t realize how often I do that! Rebekah even says it to her baby dolls.

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