The longer I'm a parent, the fewer things I can find on my list titled, "I'll NEVER. . . "
Truth is, being a parent is humbling. I think.
When Little Man and I arrived at Wal-mart after BSF this morning, he was SOUND asleep in his car seat. Poor guy. But the troops have to eat. And we were THERE, forheavenssake.
I carried him into the store. Pulled off his hoodie for a pillow. And laid him down in the cart. Asleep.
Can I tell you how many times I've seen people in the grocery store with sleeping kids and thought, "Good Grief! Take that child home and put them to bed!" Granted, it's usually 9:30 at night and not 11:30 in the morning, but that's beside the point.
So now I'm officially one of "those" parents, I guess.
It was easy for me when I had one little one, or two or three, to think, "I'll never do THAT!" Never finish my grocery shopping with a screaming child in the cart (until I knew there wasn't TIME for another trip). Never give my child something to shut them up so I can finish my shopping (Skittles work well). Never take shoeless kids in the store (I can carry them).
And why do so many of these moments happen at the grocery store? Ha!
We have such high ideals when we start our parenting journey. At least I did. My kids would obey the first time (ha!). The girls would always have their hair brushed and fixed (for years I actually CURLED it). Often they were even matching when we went out. And shoes AND socks, thankyouverymuch.
How we've digressed.
Sometimes I fix the girls' hair for school. Sometimes they do it themselves (grimace). I only curl it if we are taking family pictures. Which, for the record, is only once a year. Socks are optional in my book. So is matching clothing. And obedience? We're still working on that. Every day. With all eight kids. And this mom, too.
I like to think that parenting eight children has made me humble. More compassionate when I see those parents with sleeping children in Wal-mart.
But I'm pretty sure it's just humiliated me. Because you know what? I actually thought I could pull it off. For years. And once I realized I couldn't? I figured no one needed to KNOW I couldn't. Now I have not only realized I can't keep it all together, but I am happy to TELL you I can't.
If I could do it all well? Parent perfectly? Keep my kids in line all of the time? And look good while doing it (Yes, that was me you saw picking up two packages of noodles in Homeland, yesterday - even though I could see in your eyes that I only look vaguely familiar in my running clothes with no make up and sweaty hair. No need to embarrass you by speaking up so that you realize you DO know me.)?
Then I wouldn't need my precious Savior. Moment by moment. Hour by Hour. Day by day.
Anything I do well these days (and it's short list!)? It's only God's grace.
That's all I have left.