I knew that keeping up with a blog in addition to everything else that life brings would be a little challenging, so instead of updating it weekly as I had originally planned, it's more like a monthly thing. Oh well! My ten year old son asked his five year old brother this morning, "Oh? You don't have a plan B?" No, Ben didn't have a "plan B" but he can write a "B" and recognize one. That's about where I am---right there with the kindergarteners. Who has time to write a Plan B when Plan A is so full?
Last night my newspaper reporter friend, Susan, called for an interview. She found me on facebook several weeks ago and decided that our family story was interesting enough to grace the "Faith" section of the Salisbury Post. Susan and I had worked together as camp counselors during our college summers back-in-the-day when neon sweatshirts and legwarmers were the quickest way to proclaim our originality and independence (as long as everyone else wore them, too!) Don't try to deny that you had a headband collection and purple reflective lens sunglasses b/c I probably have pictures of you. Ok, well, that was probably me standing beside you, but you have to admit that Duran Duran and Yes were awesome even after you gave your flourescent sweatshirt to Goodwill. (If you need to pause for a cup of coffee here or put the cat out this is good place...)
Are you there? Stay with me here...it's going to get better. Anyway, after the interview concluded, Susan asked, "Wendy, do you realize that you have SEVEN children...SEVEN?" I chuckle to myself b/c questions like that along with "do you know what causes that?" come with the territory. I used to get really irked when people I didn't even know would inquire about my personal life choices, but that was back when I had a romantic notion about childrearing and a blood-pact with perfect parenting doctrines--whole foods, home birth, breast feeding, fresh air. I had a "right" to be offended, didn't I? I mean, these are all really great things.
Well, "that was then, this is now" is a phrase that comes to mind.
I'm not saying that I don't believe in a good routine and conservative discipline principles, but now I am more discerning about what really matters. I mean, what REALLY matter. What? Does it matter that Ben (5) goes to school wearing the socks and pants he wore yesterday or is it more important that he dressed himself? Or, does it matter that our kids have never been on a sports team b/c everyday life for them is a team effort? or should we busy ourselves keeping them busier? These things keep me up at night...
But, as our pastor likes to say, "after all the water has boiled out of the pot" what is left? Only the essentials. The essential thing, the anchor, the tether, the lifeline becomes only one question---Do our children know Jesus? Everything else is fluff. Ball teams, clean clothes, nutritious food, happy days---great stuff---but being a good parent is not the same as being a Godly parent. Am I being a Godly parent? Whew! That's much harder than keeping the kids' physical and social needs met. Now, you're really getting personal. I'm a little bit irked now.
So, I'm back to spiritual kindergarten rereading Galatians 5:22-23, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." I'll have to write that in my to-do notebook..."1) become a better parent 2)start with self"