Sometimes I think I'm a lousy parent.
Teenagers have a way of reinforcing that belief. The eye rolls, the disgusted sighs, the logic wars, the resistance--all have a way of screaming of my incompetence.
It's easy for me to buy into it too. I know I can be scatterbrained. I have trouble keeping the information from each kid straight. Memory fails me. I procrastinate. I put the kids off when I don't want to deal with things. I complain about their lack of help. I'm moody. I get tired of working around their schedules. Yep. Lousy parent.
But every once in a while, God gives me solace about my lack of parenting skills. Every so often, He gives me a glimpse that He's filled in my inadequacies. He shows me my kids really are connected to me.
Last week Ladies Man was gone and called twice to "see how everybody was around there." Drummer Boy drove down to show us his sweet rental car and, as is his custom, just sort of hung around at odd times of the day, not even for food! I went to Drama Queen's room and found her reading my blog. Miss Innocent One left for a weekend trip and had to give good-bye kisses twice. She even waved with a look on her face that said she'd do it again if she could.
As I think about it more, I realize my kids bring friends over OFTEN, at least a few times every week. They must not be too embarrassed by us. They love bantering at the dinner table as much as we do. They hold onto family memories. They like recalling the stories. They spend time watching home movies.
There IS connection and belonging and true love in our family, though they may not vocalize it. To be honest, I wonder how these very good things happen, when their mother possesses glaring weaknesses. With all the mistakes I've made, how do they stay tied to us?
I hope it's because they recognize I'm all in.
In the good. In the bad. In the disappointment, the fear, the stress, the crabbiness. I'm there, more than they wish I would be at times. I'm in. I always will be. They must know it. Isn't that the best any parent can do?
Don't despair about your lack of parenting skills, my friends. Pray like crazy. Find wisdom in God's Word. Do your best. Trust Him to fill in the gaps.
And be all in.
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4:8