Monday, June 25, 2012

Sissies Need Not Apply

*Today you can also find my VERY FIRST guest post at geeky and sassy

It was a weekend. Or the end of two very full, very blessed, weeks.
There were lots of highs, plus a low.
I wore a dress to church for the first time in over a year! This would be because I have still been doing a lot of nursing-even at church. But, we've made it through two Sundays-no church feed. Sigh.
not the best pic ever. But, whatever.
We celebrated Meres' birthday. She totally got into her cake. Not interested in the candle and blowing it out. But definitely interested in the frosting. She dug into the cake frosting before we even finished singing Happy Birthday. She got covered in chocolate cake. And she kept wanting more. She had a great time with her gifts. She is at a stage where she experiences everything through her mouth. This includes opening presents. She kept ripping off hunks of paper with her teeth. Nice.
finger lickin' good
doing presents
Mr. Hippie and I filled many moments with great conversation. We were both very thrilled with how our events went the past two weeks. We felt that God enabled us and was glorified.
We got in a good run. I even got a bit of sun that I didn't notice until yesterday morning. I have been running so early that my "runner's tan" hasn't been getting much attention. But, Saturday it saw the light.
Speaking of running, let me tell you, there are many benefits. Fitness, tans, and great curb finds. This is my thrift haul of the week. One morning Mr. Hippie and I were running and found this chair on the curb-about 1/4 of a mile from our house. Perfect condition, and very comfortable. It had a free sign on it. We decided that we couldn't pass it up. But, do you know how loud it is to roll an office chair on cement sidewalk at 6:30 in the morning? It sounded like a herd of elephants in the stillness. We alternately rolled and carried it home. And, though he was surely rolling his eyes at my ideas that morning, Mr. Hippie has had much cause to be thankful for this chair since then. low moment of the weekend. It is now time to wear my mom heart on my sleeve.
Here is the situation: for both VBS's we did last week, we put together "race packets" for the kids to take home the last day. They contained t-shirts, whistles, water bottles, granola bars, and bookmarks. They were forgotten on Friday morning, so the kids were told they would have to wait. No prob-it's my kids and my two nieces. Disappointed, but not greatly. Fast forward to the evening VBS. We had between 5-10 extra kids that last night. Kids who showed up that night, but hadn't been there the rest of the week. There weren't enough packets for everyone. So, who goes home with the packets?
Not my kids. 
(Let me just say right now, that they got their packets yesterday-at church)
Here is my mom dilemma. Who gets the packets? What do you do? Any way you decide, you have disappointed kids on your hands.
I didn't make the decision-someone else did. And they decided that my kids could wait for their packets. My kids were heart broken. Crest fallen. Disappointed. LC came up to me crying, "where's my packet?" Freckles too. And it broke my heart. To feel their pain. Their disappointment. Their feelings of injustice. I wanted to cry too, because I could totally understand how they felt. My kids were at the VBS morning AND evening-every day. They were promised these race packets morning and evening-every day. They were good sports, and listened and participated for over 3 hours-every day. They gave up their mom for over 3 hours-every day. They didn't camp with their grandparents so they could be our audience. They sacrificed. Over and over again.
And then they were told they were the ones who needed to sacrifice their packets. They could get their packets later. (I'm sorry, kids don't really get that.) They were told by someone who loves them very much, that they are more "Christian" than most of these other kids, so didn't they think the other kids should get the packets instead?
I understand-okay? I understand both sides. I want to teach my kids to be generous, and unselfish and sacrificial-even when it hurts. And they did give up their packets-even with a few tears.
But they are just kids too.
I don't know what could have been done differently. I wanted the other kids to have the packets. They need to hear God's Word. They need to tangibly feel our love and generosity. They took those packets home with Scripture in them. That Scripture will possibly be read by their families too.
But, my kids are kids too. What is the message that came across loud and clear in this situation? The message that I-as a parent-have to fight?
Good behavior and faithfulness and sacrifice isn't rewarded-you are just expected to give more.
It does matter who your parents are. And you aren't going to be treated equally. You are going to be held to a higher standard. And you are going to be expected to sacrifice more than everyone else.
Ouch. That is not what I want them to get from this experience.
I don't want people to treat my kids like the "teachers's kids." I just want people to treat my kids like each and every one of the other kids. Not expect them to be perfect. Not expect way more of them than everyone else. Let them be kids.
I love them all. So very, very much! (embrace the camera link)
I can put up with a lot that is aimed toward me. But, my mama bear instinct rears its head when my kids get hurt.
I had to confess my heart break and attitude to the Lord. I had to love on my kids. I had to point them to the Lord. I had to thank them for giving so others could have. I had to positively reinforce this situation the best I possibly could. Lemonade out of lemons.
And I cried to the Lord. Because it hurt. I hurt for my kids. And I hurt because I can't always keep them from being hurt. No matter how much I want to. I had to once again open my hands and release their hearts and well being to the One who loves them even more than I do.
That is hard. So hard.
Put my tears into Thy bottle: are they not in Thy book? Psalms 56:8
Parenting is so NOT for sissies. 

Have you ever encountered a situation like this? What did you do? Did your "mama heart" break? What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, eh?