Last night was a doozey. I don't even use that word, doozey, but it is quite appropriate for our night. The family was buzzing around like bees--- my husband was trying to get our camper ready before he set off to band practice, I was mothering my oldest who refused to let our 5 year old touch his golf clubs, borrowed that is, and my 7 year old was chasing my one year old around because she had the box of cereal that he wanted to snack on. Typical chaos around here.
So as most days, I am a little frazzled trying to be the somewhat patient wife (although I failed miserably as I tried to convince my husband to not go to band practice), psychotherapist (trying to explain to my son that this is a great opportunity to be a good big brother and teach my 5 year old how to swing a golf club), and the cereal police (I told my son to get a bowl out and I'd give him cereal so I could pacify our stubborn one year old and let her hold the box).
Besides my husband (he knows when to tune me out for being irrational :) ) and my one year old (heh heh), they listened to me amazingly enough.
My oldest took the younger brother outside with the golf clubs.
My seven year old got out a bowl (glass, mind you) and filled it up.
My one year old then decided she also wanted a bowl, and frazzled Mama told my seven year old to get her one. Next thing I know, is there is a clatter and the bowl filled with cereal hit the floor and broke in two, right at my one year old's feet. Cereal was everywhere...I had just mopped those floors...and the baby was whimpering.
Before I could pick up the glass, a sudden terrifying scream came from the garage. Now, unfortunately, I am a little numb to such a scream, as is my husband (you'll understand below). My boys really are highly emotional and their screaming and fighting has become a tad too normal. But, I stormed into the garage, ready to reprimand, when my oldest came at me, blood gushing down the side of his face.
His hysteria turned into my hysteria.
What happened? What do I do? WHERE IS MY HUSBAND????
I was screaming for my husband, my oldest was screaming "I am going to die!", my baby was screaming because we were screaming, and my seven year old was predicting that our five year old is IN TROUBLE!
When my oldest said the five year old did it, I yelled, with no sign of the five year old in sight, he IS in trouble, but was quickly corrected by the sobbing injured that it was an accident.
GREAT. No Mom of the Year here.
This all ended rather peacefully, believe it or not. After cleaning him up, my son had a half inch cut by his eyebrow made by a backswinging golf club when he was trying to teach his younger brother. I took him to the ER and since it was a Children's hospital, the staff were amazing with him and he got stitched up without a peep from him (before we left for the hospital he was freaking out about the pain of stitches).
My five year old might have been affected most by this whole thing. While my son was washing up before we left for the hospital, my five year old came into the room and said, "He's going to kill me." with a look of terror in his eyes. I reassured him, he's not. But his older brother has been quite a bully this summer, and I understood his worry.
He was the first one on the phone when we called Dad to say how it was going, and my five year old demanded to talk to my oldest and apologized. Supposedly, he had huddled on the couch all night, feeling terrible about the whole thing.
And the knife in my heart twisted as I remembered my initial reaction, screaming that he was IN TROUBLE.
And this is why I am in a Bible Study about taming your tongue...if only it would get through my thick skull!
As I type this, I see how much I have to do with the going-ons in this family. I realize that our emotional atmosphere, our reactions to things, might be fueled by Mama's own. Suddenly I am aware of how ludicrous it seems that God would trust me with raising these kids with any chance of emotional stability!! The nut doesn't fall far from the tree, and let me tell you, I am sometimes as nutty as an entire nut tree!
So, as I wait for my five year old to wake up so I can reassure him that he's not at fault, and as I grow anxious to see his older brother hug him and show off his five neat stitches, I have learned a mighty lesson through all of this.
Mothering, although difficult, should be done with great care because we are shaping, not only our children's minds, but their hearts. Nobody has the affect on our children as we do, and while this is frightening, it is also empowering that we can equip ourselves to raise an even more powerful generation.
Please Lord, give me foresight to steer my children with a loving heart and a wise word, and let my hindsight be filled with satisfaction and not regret!