Monday, September 26, 2011

Stay Standing

I am not very good at sitting. My first career as a food server and then post college graduation as a teacher caused me to do a lot of standing. I got used to standing. I like standing.

Having a job for the last three years where I all do is sit has taken some adjustment. For the first two years I kept trying to think of ways I could stand while working on my computer. I had aches and pains from sitting. Daily laps around the office helped my situation but brought no cure. My body has now grown accustomed to sitting, but that doesn't mean that I enjoy it.

Since my son is sick with strep throat, he wants me to sit with him and do nothing. the mundane shows he watches on television while he waits for his fever to pass can make me a little crazy in the head. Even when I bring magazines to thumb though I wiggle and cannot get comfortable. I then begin humming theme songs from the shows I find so mind numbing. Can it get worse?

My daughter is fantastic at sitting. She hates anything which requires movement. She can sit on an international flight for hours without complaining. Or escape to her bedroom for days. I would embarrass myself on an international flight. Impatience, and hating to sit, do not get along very well.

The verse found in Matthew 11:28 keeps popping up around me, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." I think that God is trying to tell me something. I need to appreciate, and take advantage of, the sitting. For it is in the sitting where, "My soul finds rest."

It takes me a while but I eventually get it, and God just waits. Thanks for waiting God. I apologize for being so slow.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Trying to Take Control

My son came home with his first grade in high school. My soaring aspirations for for straight A's came to a screeching halt when the paper was placed before me. A C- was not what I expected. "I did really well on the test though. It's the beginning of the school year. I will do better." His words were reassuring for just a moment.

Again he approached me. "I got my test back in English. I didn't do as well as I thought." Strike two. "It's funny how my science teacher grades. He picks six questions out of 15 and grades those. I got 5 out of 6." My aspirations wain as each portion of information arrives. Strike 3. "Five out of six is not good son." I help him realize. "Why are you so critical?" he replies.

Lately, I feel desperate to go back to fifth grade where grades were under my control and finishing assignments was something I monitored. Consequences stung when work wasn't completed and lackadaisical attitudes were unacceptable. I could check every paper, and accepting help from me wasn't an option.

Although these things still hold true,the approach is different. I have less control. The weight is now on our son. Our 15 year old has taken responsibility for himself. Checking his work is now more difficult. I cannot hold his hand through high school. He doesn't want his hand held. I have though, made it very clear, that discipline is a must. The consequences are great: no varsity football games, loss of phone privileges, Facebook and other social networking on hold. He nods. He agrees. The grades must improve. We wait.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Likely to React Under Pressure

I mess up therefore I am human.

This could be a framed reminder in my kitchen for those who experience the ill parts of my character.

In Romans 7: 17-19 Paul is struggling with his sinful nature and says, "And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway." Oh how I can relate to this. Why is it so difficult for me to do what is right when I discipline my children?

I came home from our son's freshman football game in a great mood. I left the game early because they were winning 48-6 with only 10 minutes left in the game. The little kids had been home with our oldest for the past 2 1/2 hours. Since I threatened the loss of limbs if they chose not to listen to her, and no calls had come through complaining of their disobedience, I was certain my return would be greeted with joy and good news. However, even the fact that I was carrying containers of fresh Chipotle couldn't fix the frustration burning within my daughter.

I was quickly greeted with, "They were awful!"

Instead of listening, correcting, comforting, and disciplining, I shouted, slammed, grabbed, spit when I used words beginning with the letter "s," lost all control, and reacted.

Instead of discussing the situation and deciding on a responsible consequence, I blew like a shaken bottle of pop.

Why is it so difficult for me to do what is right? Why is it so difficult for me to respond instead of react?

After I apologized, listened, apologized again, disciplined, waited, thought, prayed, and did everything I wanted to do first, but ended up doing last, tears were wiped, and food was consumed.

Human nature is stupid.

I pray that I stop myself next time, and respond as opposed to reacting. I pray that next time I am away, and the boys are with their sister, they all make better choices. I cannot teach my children about self control if I cannot model it myself.

I wish I didn't, but, I need a waring sign: "Likely to react under pressure."

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

First Day Blues

The big kids started school last Thursday and have barely broke into a routine. The holiday fell on what would have been day three of their senior and freshman year at high school. Start and stop have never been my first choice for beginning strong but I don't make up the district schedule.

The little kids start today. Second and fourth grade are waiting for their crisp new shirts that I didn't get a chance to wash first, alongside new backpacks, and lunch containers from last year. I anticipate the complaining at pick up that the day was too long, too hot, and that uniform infractions were rampant. I'm the mom with the uniform police officer for a son. He should really get a stipend for his diligent duties.

Each year I anticipate the collection of school supplies, new clothes, and acclimation to early wake up and packing lunches to get easier, and each year the duties progressively get tougher. Returning to routine isn't actually tough, it's just different.

This year I don't look forward to the routine. I like the nebulous schedule of summer and deciding what the day will hold only minutes before getting into the car. I love no homework, no projects, and used swimming suits hanging from hooks in my laundry room. I like warm weather.

I'm adjusting my attitude. The routine is coming and I cannot deny its existence.

Happy first day of school, to me.