I don’t know why when I see a parent “sweating the small ones” it bothers me so, but it does. Maybe because I did it once upon a time myself and now know how unnecessary it is and wish they wouldn’t. Maybe its because whatever the kid is doing cracks me up and anything that makes me laugh that much can’t be all bad. I don’t know.
So what got me thinking about all started this Sunday at church. There was a man in attendance with his two daughters who were probably 11 and 7 years old. I had to hand it to him first of all because for a divorced dad he got them in pretty dresses, neat hair and even made cookies for coffee hour. He was a member who’d moved from the area back to visit, both his daughters were baptized there and his late mother a member. He sat in the back and when they went up for communion his little one made “bunny ears” behind him as he waited for communion (oh the shame!) and then made the “x” sign with her fingers at her sister (like a cross I suppose). The dad was so embarrassed as he grabbed her hands and put them at her sides, making a very angry face at her. I felt for him as I laughed quite loudly and I laugh today still thinking about it.
When I was doing Sunday School probably seven years ago for my old church I remember another “embarrassed” parent (who reads my blog by the way) whose beautiful boy and girl were about 4 and 2 when they did their first Christmas pageant. I can remember her sad face the day she decided they could not be in the play after all when during rehearsals they just would not stand in their spot, or read their lines proper. She was so hurt ashamed and frustrated with them. I pleaded with her not to pull them but she was not going to torture herself one day longer. <Huge Sigh> She has such darling kids.. it was such a loss.
During the Sunday School Christmas Pageant rehearsal days here at my work church I still ache when I think about the mom who would leave rehearsals walking past my office with this defeated sad look. She’s only the mom of two of the most rambunctious adopted 4 year old twins who are as cute as can be, and so what if they probably didn’t do one thing they were told during the entire rehearsal. Why does it put so much on these parents?
Why do you torture yourselves parents??
Maybe its the fact that I’m a Grandma now that I’ve been there done that.. but I wasn’t yet a grandma when my friend pulled her kids from the play. But my sons were grown then and I did realize something big: we put way to much pressure on ourselves as parents. Pressure to be perfect and have perfect kids. We worry too much about what everyone else is thinking of us and our children. When its all over.. when they finally grow up.. all that little stuff becomes minuscule and we just celebrate the fact that our children made it to adults. Our lives change and all those people we were surrounded with we worried about what they were thinking dissipate into nothingness.
But what we will remember is how hard we laughed – at the cute little ones who made the Christmas play special and the kids who made bunny ears behind their dad at the communion rail. Kids are kids and people need to realize that. I don’t just mean the parents I mean all the scowlers that bring unnecessary guilt on the parents with their dirty looks.
This is not a plea to let kids run wild, just know that most of us know you are doing your best so don’t sweat the small ones, especially when they are misbehaving! They’ll only be little for such a short time and you don’t want their or your memories filled with shame over dumb things.
Happy Monday everyone!! Well I’ve been very busy living and doing and growing but lacking in my heart was my writing, so this week I finally made the commitment to get this back up and running so hello! As you can see that grand baby is growing and I’m so grateful to still have her around me so I can enjoy every moment good and bad (without shame or embarrassment either, heh heh).
So if you get a chance I’d love to hear what’s the most embarrassing thing that your kids have ever done. Leave me a funny story in the comments, won’t you?
Love, Encouragement and Blessings,