Through sobs, "You (tears) broke (tears) my (SOBS!!!!!) heart! Mommy, I'm so disappointed in you!" Those are words you never want to hear from your child. But, I just did. And, I'm not sorry. I'm sad but I'm not sorry. This parenting gig is hard some times. But, there is more to it than cute clothes, birthday parties and snuggles. Sometimes there is correction and discipline. Sometimes you break hearts. Some nights you give lots of kisses and hugs but you still leave a little one crying because of a decision they made.
Our little Micah is the sweetest and most tender hearted guy I know. He loves big and he (meaning his heart) hurts big. When he is disciplined, he takes it very personal. He doesn't quite understand that saying "sorry" isn't always enough. Sometimes there are consequences. Tonight was one of those nights.
Dan has had meetings all night tonight. I still don't know when he is supposed to be home. Bedtime is his gig. And, when he misses it, the kids really miss him. (And, I do too!) They have their routine. They have a certain order they do things. They have it all worked out. I don't try to mimic it. It's their thing. I do my own thing on my nights.
In the midst of our devotion time, Micah did a wrong thing. It wasn't a big thing but I corrected him. I gave him another chance and he did it again. I gave him one more chance with a warning and he did it again. So, I stood up and took the devotion book and story for the night and told him that Jonah and I would go to his room to do it. I kissed him, turned on his white noise and moon and then I left. And, the screaming and sobbing began. It wasn't screams of defiance. They were screams of heart ache. He could not believe we left him. Story time and devotion is his favorite. (If you don't believe me, you should have heard him say it through the sobs!) Honestly, it was so heart wrenching that Jonah and I both teared up a bit. It was sad.
I finished devotion, prayers and reading with Jonah then went back to Micah's room to kiss him, love on him and remind him how we got to this point. But, before I could say or do anything, he said "You (tears) broke (tears) my (SOBS!!!!!) heart! Mommy, I'm so disappointed in you!" Then he just sobbed and sobbed. I'm still not sure if he was most upset over losing the story or his knowing I was disappointed in him. Either way, it was rough. But, in an effort to show my little boy grace, I picked him up and took him to the dark living room to rock. It's been well over a year since we've rocked at bedtime. I sang songs. I covered him with a living room blanket and we just rocked.
And, when I took him back to his bed, the sobbing began again. And, I was sad all over again!
Parenting is tough! My friend Angie and I talked about it at church last night. It's hard when you have to discipline your kids for the very thing other parents let their kids do. It's hard when it isn't a major thing but it is still a wrong thing. It's hard when the sobs are present. It's just hard.
But, God's word is very clear about the "training" that we are to do as their parents. I'm instructed to love their dad more than I love them. And, I'm instructed to train them up in the way they should go. That doesn't mean they will always make the right choices but it does mean that my responsibility is to keep directing them towards what is right. It means setting a standard and living by it. It means letting your yes be yes and your no be no. It means ALWAYS honoring their dad and the decisions he makes while in their presence. It means standing firm when you've broken their hearts.
I'm so amazed by those precious boys who are sleeping just down the hall. I'm grateful God shared them with us and entrusted us to teach them right from wrong, even when it hurts.