Thursday, May 22, 2014

So y'all, we are now THAT family

This week a new acquaintance asked me how many kids I have - and I paused and really, REALLY, almost said 12 because it feels like that sometimes when I do all our laundry.

But I told her three.  Three beautiful boys - 2 of which are always at war with one brother or another and the other one is doing daily pushups so he'll be ready to protect himself.  

So y'all, we are now THAT family..... Two separate and very informative interactions with people I didn't want to hear from -  about things I didn't want to hear - basically filling out a survey on my parenting skills, successes and failures thus far.  And the people doing the talking about my kids found no angels in the bunch this time,..... only pirates and thieves. Thus the reason for my blog title.   

One kid has drawn a line in the never ending school year sand with his teacher - and they're currently trying to negotiate their places in this big 4th grade world before someone goes crazy.  Or quits teaching school forever and blames her lasting emotional scars on my kid....

And one kid called home to tell us he was in a bit of trouble. And can we come get him?  Daddy took the call, and I didn't ask if he considered no as an answer.
So this week we've had lessons in integrity and consequences and a basic review of right and wrong even when you think no one is watching.

And really, these days... someone's always watching.  As the kid who got caught by the school police officer climbing on the roof of the elementary school can attest.  Nice.  So now we have a record.  A school district, climbing on the school roof  kind of  record - but it can go either way from there.   A life of crime or a life of ...integrity.  Our giant, billboard sized word that has been spoken again and again in our family till maybe they just drown it all out now....

And the end of school drama which has really been going on for months now.... but increasing at a rapid rate with no valuable return to anyone involved.... is just a big old 4th grade mess.  And tears have been shed, and words have been said, and there have been some noted battles of the wills ..... and I think a bet as to who will cry first. 

And so when we asked WHY? WHY? WHY?????  To both of the boys involved.....

One thought he wouldn't get caught.   And the other just wasn't ...isn't ... thinking - about anyone but himself.  And taking the nerves of his sweet teacher down with him on the road to juvenile delinquency. 

So when the time came to discipline and teach and encourage.... because those all go hand in hand around here most of the time, there were consequences to their actions.  Little guy lost all his favorite things till he can get a good report each day from you know who.  And the other one,  the one who sat there in his baggy jeans and ball cap looking at the officer who - at that moment, may have thought him the biggest loser - and not the TV weight loss show kind -  learned that there are eyes everywhere.  Parents, teachers, security cameras and neighbors.... even cars driving by.  

And I pointed out to him that his choices  - whether visible to the eyes of others or not, are there for his heart to live with.  For his mind to consider for their worth, and to ask himself if he would be proud to do this and  - anything of question, really - in front of me or his dad.  Because in the big scheme of things, my eyes are small compared the eyes of this world who are busy hunting high and low for some good to grab onto.  Looking for a light to shine and a voice to be the one in the crowd that says no to bad and yes to good.  And he has an opportunity to be that, daily,  to lots of people.  Even when he thinks no one notices.  

And over the years I've breathed a million breaths explaining that integrity - our theme, our motto, our family code if you will - means doing the right thing even when no one is watching.

And that brings it back to me, to the parents who are charged with so very much.  Maybe more than ever in the history of parenting.... I don't know.  But maybe.  
We're in charge of not only our kids minds and hearts, but their bodies as well.  And we're challenged with their care and supervision daily.  And I'm of the belief that we as parents can't go this one alone.  Because as soon as they walk out the door for school, they're already in the hands of other people.  Friends, teachers, and those that have influenced them along their way.  The circles grow huge. 

So knowing that, I pray for their protection of heart, mind and bodies daily.  I really try to do that in the car on the way to work each day.  To get it all in there first thing so I don't miss my chance. 

(And for my boys who will read this one day.... you have a mom who has filled a lifetime with choices both good and bad.  With mistakes big and small - that have been forgiven by some, and not so much by others.  I am a mom that can't tell you that I've done it all right.  Don't tell anyone.... but in high school I stole a For Sale sign from one house and put it in my teacher's front yard under cover of darkness.  And then there was that oddly peculiar situation with my geometry teacher.... that and countless other unmentionables dot my path from youth till now.... 

But here you go, my loves... you are a combination of so many things - good, and more good, mixed in with a little confusion and youthful enthusiasm.  You are a mix of me and daddy and all the wonderful qualities that have grown in you over the years of your own making.  And all are turning out to be ....lovely.  Lovely and loved by a mom that has committed a life to teaching you and leading you down a path to what I hope are good things.  And no, I was never really mad about the whole climb on the school roof thing - just thankful there was no spray paint or rooftop skateboard  tricks involved.  Or stitches.  And the end of the school year antics?  That's something we'll keep working on....) 

But I, along with the Maker of all our days - am a believer in new beginnings.

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