Yesterday, my son nailed me. I know God speaks through all kinds of ways, but it is particularly stunning when he does it through a child...your child.
Ethan has been cycling into a space cadet zone lately. We have been here before and it can be very frustrating. Last week was not a stellar week in terms of grades and I could tell that if we didn't clamp down a bit things would spiral. The culmination of which came Sunday night when it took Ethan 3 hours to do his homework, all the whilst moving to three different rooms, being called multiple times to get back to the table to complete it. To top it off, when Jay checked it over, many problems were wrong or half completed. Jay and I ordered up no electronics this week to help him stay focused on his tasks.
I picked Ethan up at school. I asked his teacher how the day went. I rarely ask his teacher anything about his day because Ethan is a reliably good kid. His teacher responded that he had had a much better day than last week. I chimed in that we were not thrilled at his grades and thus, we had removed electronics for him this week.
I really didn't think too much about what I had just said as we walked away. I looked back to make sure all three kids were with me as we made our way to the car. Ethan had that look on his face, the look of trying to control his tears. As we left the crowds of kids and parents, Ethan made his feelings known. Really, Ethan was angry. I don't think he has ever been this angry with me. I was a little stunned.
This is what he said, “Mom, why did you tell Mr. B that? You really just said it to look like you are good parent and are doing what you are supposed to do. Did you really have to tell him that? What was the point?”
Ouch. Yeah, what was the point? I spent the next day really thinking about that. He was right. There was no point. It was only to show Mr. B that "we were handling things" at home. You know, I am that "on top of it all" mom, the "totally in control" and "we are going to get to the bottom of this" mom. I confessed my sinful pride to Ethan tonight and asked for his forgiveness. As usual, he started gushing accolades on my parenting. I so love him.
It seems I am very far behind on this journey of destroying the idols of pride and self. I mean, I have recognized this for several years - my actions have the wrong motives, etc. Yet, here I am struggling with it, again. Has everyone else worked through this? Sometimes it certainly feels that way.