Monday, December 6, 2010
One thing every parent knows is that we not only teach our children, but we also learn from them. I think that I sometimes miss these lessons because I am too caught up in whatever I happen to be doing at the time. And believe me, there is never a dull moment around here, and I always seem to be in the middle of something. But I have been really trying to be more aware of the little things and what I can learn from them.
The other day, the kids and I went out to the car to run over to JoAnn's for some scrapbooking supplies. We got out into the 12-degree outside, opened the car doors, and - Lo and Behold - Kaleigh's carseat was not there. Daddy had forgotten to take it out of his car the night before when he got home from picking the kids up at Grandma's house. Thankfully, I had an extra, in the garage. Not-so-thankfully, said extra had moldy straps. Thankfully, Kaleigh no longer has to wear the straps, as she is old enough for just a booster seat. Not-so-thankfully, it was still 12 degrees outside.
Rather than haul the kids back inside and try to wrestle with the seat in the narrow hallway (can't wait to move out of our tiny house!), I decided to just take the straps out right there, outside, and be done with it. I'm nothing if not efficient.
So there I am, in the bitter freezing cold, trying to get the stupid straps and all their buckles through the many holes in the plastic seat and its fabric covering, cursing the cold weather and wondering why winter can't just be from December 23 to January 3 and why my husband can't just remember to take the stupid carseat out of his car as soon as he gets home instead of waiting til morning and then forgetting it EVERY SINGLE TIME. In my head, all I am doing is basically complaining and grumbling and working myself into a bad mood.
And my daughter, standing off to the side and seemingly oblivious to the frigid air, is singing.
In my crabby mood, I almost told her to be quiet. The Holy Spirit (there's no way I can take credit by calling it self-control) stopped me. How dare I tell her to stop singing just because I am unhappy with my current circumstances?!
My heart was softened, and I took the moment to remind myself that even though I cannot control what happens to me and around me, I CAN control how I respond to it. I took a deep breath, wrenched the last buckle out of the seat, tossed the whole moldy contraption into the trash (I'll never need it again anyway), and apologized to my kids for my grouchiness. I silently apologized to my husband (who never knew how upset I was with him at that moment, since he didn't answer his phone when I called to ream him out for leaving the carseat in his car - anyone see how hard the Holy Spirit was working that morning???), and asked God to help me have a better attitude.
And to remember that no matter what my circumstances are, I can still have a song in my heart. Even in 12 degree weather.