Monday, November 23, 2009

Forgiveness

Lately, when Malachi gets in trouble, he immediately wails, "You're not gonna forgive me!" and buries his head in his arms.  Izzy is his little shadow, so he does it too, though he has even less idea of what it all means than Malachi.  It's quite a diversion from the issue at hand, whatever it may be, and I get frusterated about it sometimes.  I can't figure out where it came from.  But no matter where it came from, I can't ignore it, and I always tell Malachi, "Mommy will always forgive you."  To which he must reply, "Why?" because that is the favored question for both my little guys right now.  I tell him,"Because I love you, and love always forgives."  He hasn't quite gotten it yet, but it made me stop and think today.  "Love always forgives."  Even if they're wrong.  Even if they don't ask me to forgive them.  Even if they don't know they did anything wrong.  And not just my children.  As a follower of Christ, I'm called to "love my neighbor as myself."  I guess that means I should also forgive them.  Always.  Just like I forgive my boys.  Just like God forgives me.  And how often, when I mess up, do I immediately shout to God, "You won't forgive me!" and hide from Him. It's not too easy to have a relationship with a person you're hiding from.  But God says the same thing to me, I think....."I will always forgive you, because I love you, and love always forgives."  It's something to think about.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Persuading a Toddler

I find that my children are full of contradictions.  Malachi could sit for hours in front of the tv without moving a muscle, but he also jumps at the chance to go outside and play.  Izzy, on the other hand, can't sit still for more than a few minutes, and yet he never seems to want to go outside.  Malachi always wants him to come out and play with him, and I always want him to go out so I can have some peace.  Malachi and I will both try to convince him and the conversation will go something like this (as a side note, Izzy can talk a lot, but in the tradition of toddlers, his favorite word still seems to be "no"):

Me, "Izzy, don't you want to go outside?"
"No!"
Me, "Don't you want to go play hockey with Malachi?"
"No!"
Malachi, "Izzy, you want to come outside and see the airplane swing?"
"No!"
Me, "I bet Malachi would push you in the airplane swing if you went outside...."
"No!"
Malachi, "Izzy, do you want to go see the ship (a fort of sorts that Malachi built)?"
"No!"
Me, "You want to go out and ride your trike with Malachi?"
"No!"
Malachi is now tired of trying to persuade him nicely and tries threatening him with something like this, "Izzy!  If you don't go outside you're getting a spanking and you'll never see your blankie again and then you'll die!"
Izzy is not moved.  "No!"

In the end, I bribe him with a cookie.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Airplane Swing

Sometimes I don’t feel like I’m that great of a mom. I find myself short tempered, tired, and wishing I was somewhere else—or maybe that the kids were somewhere else…like the moon. I don’t get to spend time with the boys individually very often, but every once in a while I do get that opportunity.

Recently, I had that opportunity with Izzy. The day was chilly, but clear, and the sun was shining. Izzy wanted me to push him in our red plastic airplane swing, which is, without contest, the highlight of the dilapidated swingset we’ve inherited from someone. I think I pushed him on that swing for half and hour straight—he was having such a good time! We talked about how we liked trees, and I tried to explain that he was going to have a cousin soon, that Aunt Katie had a baby in her tummy. He said he wanted a baby in his tummy, so then I tried to explain that boys don’t have babies in their tummies, but that maybe someday his wife could have a baby and he could be a daddy. Which led to talking about his daddy and how he likes his daddy (this can also lead to conversations like, “He’s my daddy. Not yours.”) I told him that his daddy loves him and would love to be there pushing him on the swing if he could, but that he had to work. Toward the end, he just wanted to enjoy the ride, and he told me, “Mommy, say ‘woohoo!’” So I pushed him and said “woo hoo!” and he would “woo hoo!” back like my little echo, and it was just pure joy on his face.

While he was swinging, I was thinking, “I hope this is what he remembers.” I hope they remember the times I pushed them on the airplane swing. I hope they remember when I read books to them and sang to them or spun them in the living room. I hope they will remember those times, instead of when I lost my temper or had no patience and yelled at them or told them “no” for the fifteenth time when they asked me to do something with them.

Realistically, I know they will remember both, the good times we have, and the bad ones, but I hope, and pray, that the good moments will outshine the bad ones.



Later, I was zipping Izzy’s coat for him to go outside and wrapping him in a scarf when he asked, “Am I superhero?”
“Definitely,” I said.
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