Friday, August 29, 2008

Rite of Passage

My son told me he hated me today. I told him to brush his teeth and he said he didn't want to, cuz he hated me.

Of course, the effect was slightly ruined by the fact that he was grinning and hugging me at the same time. Still, it kinda stung. We had a short-but-sweet talk about how "we don't use that word in our family." (I've finally become my mother.) We might get angry, and that's okay - but we still love each other.

I think every kid goes through an "I hate my parents" phase - every teenager, certainly. It definitely happened to me; I remember feeling so misunderstood and under appreciated and ALLLL ALOOOOONE IN THE WOOOOORLD right about when I hit teenagedom. Sleepovers consisted of who-has-the-worst-parents competitions. (I rarely won, and it irked.) Hating your parents was ... cool. Luckily, I got over it fairly quickly and now look back on those years with amusement. I am equally lucky that my parents didn't take it personally.

However, I've always had a never-admitted-even-to-myself dream that my kids WON'T go through that phase. Ha.

The truth is, there aren't any perfect parents and there aren't any perfect kids. Once we admit that to ourselves, it's liberating.

Making sure the dishes are done EVERY night before you go to bed is unrealistic.

There will be nights where you don't even remember you forgot to read your scriptures.

Family prayers are not always going to be moments of serenity and peace, inviting the Spirit to bless your home once more. Sometimes it's good enough if your two-year-old just folds his arms through "Dear Heavenly Father ...."

Visiting teaching ALL your sisters EVERY month is amazing. Maybe one day I'll get there, but it's not today.

Remember that time in the temple you promised never to yell at your kids ever again? Keep the dream alive, sister.

Your husband may be the love of your life, but it's perfectly normal to get mad when he leaves his socks all over the house. Again.

Never roll your eyes at the pregnant lady with three kids throwing temper tantrums in the grocery store. One day, it will be you. Trust me.

Don't sweat it when your neighbor's kid crawls, walks, cuts his teeth, talks, potty trains, reads, and conducts a symphony orchestra before your kid does. They'll eventually hate their parents too.

We are, in essence, on this earth to mess up. We have already been saved - we CANNOT save ourselves. We WILL mess up. That's why Christ's Atonement is so beautiful, so beyond comprehension. Because despite it all - despite our innate humanity - we CAN be perfect. Not by any act of our own - only through a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Only through our Redeemer's infinite sacrifice can we truly "do it all." Because we will never, ever, do it otherwise. We need to do our best - our absolute, blood-sweat-tears best - and let Him take over. Don't beat yourself up if your best isn't as good as someone else's. Be grateful that He can save you that much more. ;o)

And Mom? Dad? I love you.

3 comments:

Jared said...

Amen Sister, AAAAAMMMMEEEENNNN!!!
I have these conversations in my head all the time, what you just wrote is pretty much my conversation. In fact at this very moment my 2 major living spaces look as if a tornado has gone through them, and guess what? I do not care. I would be just fine if Christ were to come through my doors because I know that He knows that I have been doing my absolute best for today and that what really matters got done during the day.
I love all of the yummy pictures of your little guys.
Pam

Melting away in Phoenix said...

I ditto what Pam said! I appreciate your realistic view on life! I need to not beat myself up as much and know I am doing my best! Good job being a Mom:)

Mommadj5 said...

Oh My gosh - the moment has finally arrived where you appreciate everything I have ever done for you!! JK - I know you hit that eureka moment eons ago :-) All anybody can do is the best they can and pray that your children have forgiving souls and medical coverage for therapists... I swear every time I used to get my house clean I would vow to never let it get that dirty again....now I just hope 1 day goes by with everything where it belongs. Love you bunches...Mom