"No. No games today- you've been online WAY too much, we're having a family day." As the words came out of my mouth, I knew there about to be a fight. I was ready for a knock, down drag out, go the distance, epic type, battle. In my arsenal, I held both the classic Mom weapons of: "Because, I Said So" and "As long as you live under my roof, you'll do as I say." And- a Mom's best weapon- I was right. Balance had gone out the window with a new online game to conquer.
However- my being right was quickly lost in doing wrong. Apparently, I wasn't the only one prepared for a fight. The child with whom I engaged in battle- is most certainly, his mothers son. We verbally dodged and paried for half an hour. He gave (loud) reasons why the weekends should be his to do what he wants, and I gave (even louder) reasons why he WOULD be doing what I said. During the battle, I forgot I was the Mother, and- quite possibly forgot what the argument was even about. It was no longer about making time to be together... it was about MAKING my kid (now, really a man) do what I said.
At one point, I looked over to find the youngest, trying to watch the Disney Channel with his fingers in his ears. He looked like a bystander in terrorist attack... waiting for a stray round that might hit...The yelling finally ended, but the emotion did not. The computers stayed off and everyone got ready for church. We were even EARLY. (That does not happen often.) However, the car ride was eerily quiet. There were short bursts of attempted conversation, but we all knew it was just to cover the anger and hurt that we felt from the battle bruises. Winning didn't feel like I'd hoped.
Church started and a video played. It was a family "connecting" via text, blog and cell, but not with each other. I looked at the notes in our program they were entitled "MySpace, or Ours?" Over the next few minutes- music, video and message communicated the message that had been lost in our verbal battle. We laughed "the unfomfortable, this is too like our morning, laugh" and he kept elbowing me though out the service. "Can you believe THIS is what church is about today??? It's weird!" He said.
"It's God." I said back.... In thaqt short hour or so, both of our attitudes had changed. I watched this Man/Boy respond to God through the ministry of the service. I watched him squirm, under the gentle conviction of an unbalanced life reflected on, and I squirmed along side of him, under conviction of another sort.
I didn't think I was wrong. But- I knew I had DONE wrong... The same message that I had wanted to communicate to Him, was communicated through out the entire service- with humor, with creativity and with respect. All tools that I both profess and possess, but threw out the window as soon as I forgot I was the Mom and started a death match over control.
We spent the afternoon at the Outdoorama. (I feared permament blindness from all the camouflage.) We ate junk food (nothing like a concession stand corn dog. YUM.) and I watched all three kids and their Dad fish in a giant bathtub. (I mean a trout pond...;) No less than 4 times throughout the day, my oldest said he was glad we had spent it together, and that knew we were right. (The Dad had wisely stated his opinion without actually getting caught up in our battle... a very wise man.)
This morning, it hit me. My son was more mature than I was. He had admitted he was wrong, he had allowed God to change his attitude. I however, had not. I wasn't wrong in what I said... but I was wrong in how I said it. Crap. I hate that.
The bus will bring him home this afternoon, and I will be here, waiting to apologize.......for forgetting I was the Mom;)
"Dear Lord- ... I love you - and ask you to help me to communicate in a way that honors you and the children you've entrusted to my temporary care. Help me to DO right as well as BE right! amen."
Labels: control, parenting