I love this pic of my son! We were traveling and stopped for a rest break, I saw the rock, and thought it would be a good shot. There’s other shots of him doing silly faces and letting his wonderfully hilarious personality shine through, but this is my favorite because it’s just simply him…being.
I love candid shots of my boys just being themselves because they remind me how blessed I am to be their mother and how much I love them.
But sometimes they test me.
Hudson attempted such a test recently. It didn’t go well for him, but I know sometimes kids will test their limits…and, that’s ok. Testing the limits helps them understand boundaries.
It also helps them understand mommy has a strong resolve too.
Here’s how it went down…
It was bedtime. The boys weren’t really wanting to go to bed, but it was VERY MUCH past their bedtime, and we all know bedtime for them is “me time” for us, right? So, I repeated “it’s time to get in the bed boys” in my “this is your last calm voice command before the crazy comes out” tone, which my 10YO (Jacob) recognizes, but my 7 YO (Hudson) sometimes is not able to translate quickly.
So, Jacob says, “We better get in the bed now, Hudson.” I push them along by stating, “Yeah, mommy let you all stay up way past your bedtime, boys, and I have a ton of work to do.” But, being that he was sleepy and feeling a little more risqué, Hudson replies, “We can stay up because all you’re gonna do is ‘work’ (and yes, he did air quotes) at your computer on Facebook. ”
And thus began the test.
Me: Oh, you think that’s all mommy does? That’s the “work” (and yes, I repeated the air quotes) you think I do when you all get in the bed? Ok, goodnight Jacob. Hudson is going to stay up and do what mommy does so he can fully experience the nothing that mommy does.
Hudson (suddenly panicked and visibly doing a quick think-through of what he’s seen mommy do): Uh, that’s ok, mommy. I believe you. I’ll go to bed.
Me (nah, no turning back now, kid): Nope. You put it out there now. So, when Jacob turns out the lights, you’ll see what happens once you all are in bed.
And, for the next 30 to 45 minutes or so, Hudson cleaned the kitchen (i.e. put the dishes up from the dishwasher, loaded the dishwasher, put the food up), took the clothes out of the dryer, folded them, and put clothes in the washer. Now, even though some of these chores are theirs anyway, having your child do them at 11:00 at night really hits home the point of how much you do. I eased up when he dozed off while folding clothes. Ha! That was funny though…
So, after I caught him before he fell off my bed while folding (too funny), I asked him if he understood why he has a bedtime and whether or not he thinks mommy only looks at Facebook…whereby he hugged me and said, “I’m sorry, mommy. I know you do a lot for us.” as I walked/hugged him to bed, tucked him in, and kissed him goodnight.
And, so I passed this test. But, what did my child learn? Well, my goal wasn’t that he see all that I did so he could worship the ground I walk on as his mother (I really did feel kinda bad when he was dozing off, but, as stated, it was so funny. Ha!) My goal was that he understand boundaries are in place not to keep him from doing what he wants, but so he understands I know and want what’s best for HIM!
And, as is always the case in parenting for me, I learned a lesson too about boundaries that night. I learned that a loving God also gives boundaries not to lock us in, but to allow us to recognize the limits of our humanity that we may be more dependent on him! And, just like my son, once we recognize who he is and all he longs to do for us, we can trust him and rest soundly knowing how much he cares for us.
What insight have you received about yourself through parenting? I’d love to know. 🙂