I think parenting is all about living for the small victories. Let's face it, our kids are never going to behave the way we would prefer all the time. So, I believe God throws us these bones to keep us going in this predictably failing pursuit.
Small Victory #1: Yesterday, I wrote about my precious little girl's "shout out" to me at the door of our carpoolers. I had fully planned an "intense" discussion about this lovely sign of respect after she returned from school. Swim practice prevented that immediate discussion, which was a God designed delay. Upon returning home, kids were scattered in all directions putting up bags, taking showers, etc. However, Sadie found me,alone, putting away some laundry and said, "Hey Mom?" "You know when I shouted at you from the car this morning? Well, I am really sorry. That was really bad of me. Will you forgive me?" Sweet Jesus, thank you for the encouragement that my child does recognize the tone of Satan when it spews forth from her mouth.
Small Victory #2: After picking up kids from school today, my precious oldest one decided that I have failed him miserably by only allowing "healthy" snacks after school. He decided to repeatedly ask me for packaged chips that are 1) only allowed for school lunches and 2) not to be asked for as an after school snack. Oh, what a terrible mother am I, I heard. Why, oh why was he sent to THIS family. Woe. Woe. Woe is him. Topping off this endearing scenario was his attempt to parent my youngest on how she never closes doors. Instructing him to take a step back from this endeavor, he refused to zip it and began to belittle her. I sent him up to his room for an attitude adjustment. A mere 10 minutes later, I heard a little quiet voice asking to come out of his room. Yes, I responded. He came barreling into my room, his face scrunched up, tears in his eyes. Quite pathetic actually. I thought, "Oh no, here we go again...those blasted chips." Instead, this is what I got, "Mommy, I am so sorry for being mean to you. I just can't do that anymore. Will you forgive me?" With that, he started sobbing. I know I had to look like I won the lottery, stunned and thrilled all at the same time.
Small victories, people. Small victories will see us through.