Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Children Make Us Better People

Today was one of those rough days. I am entering my third trimester of pregnancy with our second child, I am sick with a cold, I am trying to juggle my tutoring business with my home responsibilities, and I am nesting big time. Today I had to navigate several errands with my two year old.

After getting delayed at the pharmacy  I then had to wait in a long line with my son who was already done with shopping. When a new checkout line opened I was cut off by two old ladies. I wanted to get very ugly with them but my son was right there in my shopping chart watching and listening to everything I do. His sweet little face reminded me that each moment no matter how frustrating are teaching moments. No positive lessons would be taught by my verbally shredding two old ladies in the middle of Target. I clinched my jaw and kept my mouth shut. It was hard but I did it.

Immediately follow this I found myself at the grocery store attempting to pick up lunch. I was so hungry and so was my son. When we got to the sandwich counter to order lunch we were cut off my a police officer who flashed his badge and stated he couldn't wait. Really, he was using his authority to cut in front of a pregnant woman and a little boy. I was irritated but I have respect for law enforcement and of course let him put his sandwich order in ahead of mine. It wasn't until I left the store with my now screaming toddler and noticed him sitting in his police car, needlessly blocking traffic I might add, eating his sandwich leisurely while talking on his cell phone. I wanted to ask him for his badge number and inform him that I was reporting his abuse of power to his superiors. However, I let it go; mainly because if he was willing to abuse his power to get a sandwich I wasn't going to test the waters to see how far he would take it.

While driving home I reflected on my morning. My son was quieted by a corn dog and my hunger pains were appeased with veggie chips and I had a moment to think. I had some selfish moments: why did they think they were more important than me, does no one respect pregnant women anymore, am I invisible and ignorable? The question that changed my line of thought was: what did I just teach my son with these interactions? 

I want my son to be able to stand up for himself. I don't want him to let people walk all over him and take advantage of him. However, I don't want him to be a bully or to be a hot head who flies off the handle. I want him to learn to walk humbly with the Lord in this life.

No, the Lord has told us what is good. What he requires of us is this: to do what is just, to show constant love, and to live in humble fellowship with our God. (Micah 6:8)

At home, later I thought about my interactions over the day and realized that my son is making me a better person and a stronger Christian. Being a parent has strengthened me and made the practice of my faith a daily discipline.  A few years ago I would have spoken my mind to those two old ladies, I would have confronted the cop but today I chose to behave differently. I chose to humble myself and show love and to give respect where I did not feel I was getting respect. I know I have and will stumble but at least I know I can do better if I try. There will be plenty of opportunities to teach my son how to stand up for himself but today the Spirit was with me in the face of my son. 

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