Our family has learned a few hard lessons this week. To start – a tonsillectomy is NOT a quick recovery! Our middle son had his tonsils removed just a little over one week ago and my husband and I have been sleeping in two hour rotating shifts. It’s hard to see your 11-year-old holding his ears and screaming – in his new chipmunk voice – for pain medicine.
Lesson number two – a Dollar Store lock does not deter the driven thief…Our youngest went swimming at the Y and proudly locked his belongings away in the boy’s locker room. This is the 8-year-old child that wants desperately to be a teenager, and locking your belongings in the boy’s locker room instead of the family locker room is his way of protesting his age and the boundaries of being the youngest. When my dad arrived at the Y, he proudly escorted him to the locker room to demonstrate this accomplishment, only to find that his lock was mangled and his beloved Hyperdunk basketball shoes and new Cavs basketball were stolen. That was a heartbreaking lesson to teach an 8-year-old.
Lesson number three – Lying only gets you into more trouble…Same child. Different lesson. This is my ADHD child with an overdose of the H. Medication is now part of his daily diet and he despises it. With a not-so-convincing poker face, he vehemently professed that he had already taken his medication. When I explained to him that I have been counting his medication everyday and I know exactly how many pills should be in the bottle, his poker face quickly changed into a face of shock. He had just been caught in a lie. I absolutely do not tolerate lying or even exaggerating. He had planned on spending the day with my mom, but lying receives a punishment. After some begging and repeated apologies, he had to call my mom to tell her that he could not come with her today because he lied. As a mom, it’s so hard to see your child overwhelmed with disappointment, but I could not allow him to believe that lying is acceptable. Today, it’s lying about medication and years from now it’s lying about cars, curfews and his whereabouts.
Lesson number four – I’m not always right, but most times I think I am…I am the first born and with that birth right comes a list of character traits that do not always serve me well. Alert! Alert! Alert! Control Freak Alert! I like to get my way, not because I’m always right, but because I think my way is the best way. And I’m always right. Thankfully I have control of my inner control freak most of the time. LOL. Seriously, it’s always those closest to me that feel the effects of my need-to-be-right character flaw. A few weeks ago, my husband and I had a little disagreement, but I couldn’t even hear his perspective over my own controlling thoughts. In reality, he probably said very little, because when provoked this mouth does not stop.
I can’t remember the last time my husband and I had an argument. My husband is great listener and extremely patient. Sure we may disagree at times, but we don’t raise our voices. During this recent disagreement, it was me that raised my voice and it was me that harbored unwarranted hurt feelings. John 15:12, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friend.” After reflecting on this, I recognized just how unwarranted my feelings were and where they were coming from. It had nothing to do with my husband or the topic we were discussing, and much more to do with the desire to be “right”.
I’m not exactly laying myself down in front of a bus for anyone, but I do recognize when I need to set aside my controlling character flaw and apologize.