Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Teaching my teenage son about women!
I just have a quick minute today, so much to accomplish in such a short time! I did, however, have a funny moment this morning in the midst of the chaos that is a typical McKinney morning, and it might be worth sharing. As I've said before, this blog is mostly therapeutic for me anyway so if no one needs this it will at least help me process my thoughts!
Wednesdays in Lee's Summit, MO are "Late Start Wednesdays"! The public schools have students come in one hour later in order to give our amazing teachers an extra hour of preparation each week! If you ask me, those teacher/super heroes surely need more than an hour, so I'm all for it! I realize it does make it difficult for many families, but we are willing to do our part. The only rough part for us is that it does mean Dad is not around for our family devotion in the morning, and mom gets to drive the boys to school. This is tough because Dad is the nice one in our house, the morning person, the kind and sweet encourager when the rest of us are just NOT morning people! As you can probably imagine, the conversations might be a bit less encouraging when Mom's in charge by herself! I'll bet you can just picture it!
This morning I "gently" reminded the boys that, while I don't make them keep their rooms spotless throughout the crazy week, I wanted them to at least pick up the clothes and close the drawers. I believe what I said to them both was something like, "GUYS, PLEASE STRAIGHTEN THOSE ROOMS BEFORE WE LEAVE TODAY!" It was 3 minutes until breakfast/devotion when I said it. Justin, being the ever so obedient and good natured teenage boy that he is (NOT) proceeded to actually do it! Five minutes later, when we were late for breakfast and devotion I yelled, "Justin, what are you doing!? Get down here for devotion and breakfast! Now we're running late!" He replied, "I was cleaning my room like you strongly suggested!"
It's hard to put into words the range of thoughts and emotions that played out in my head just then. At first I wanted to smack him for being so sassy! Then I quickly realized I was expecting him to read my mind! Are you kidding me?? My poor sweet husband can't do that and we've been married for over 21 years! How could I possibly expect some 14 year old boy to do it? What I meant and maybe should have said was, "In your extra time and quickly, without being late for devotion and breakfast, pick up your room so that it is not perfect but adequate." That's not what I said though, and for once, Justin did exactly what I said.
I had to apologize to him at devotion time. I tried to explain that, bless his heart, welcome to having a woman in your life! So often we expect the people around us to read our minds in addition to our behaviors. Then we want them to combine it with what happened in the past and do what I want but know is way too much to expect from anyone so I don't even say it! Does that make sense to anyone? Maybe it's just me, but I swear that's so often how I communicate. For heaven's sake, Gayla! Say what you mean! If it's too much to ask, change your expectation! And have some empathy for those around you! If I'm feeling crazy and rushed, chances are they are too. Let some things go! Family unity and credibility with my kids is infinitely more important than a straightened room that will have no one in it til the kids get home anyway! A little perspective here, MOM!
Maybe Justin learned a thing or two about women...we don't always mean what we say and we often say mean things. We'd like for the people in our lives to love us enough to try and figure us out, but we often haven't figured out ourselves. I certainly was reminded of several things! Thankfully God means all that He says, and He says it with the ultimate compassion that comes from knowing and loving us as He created us! My talk needs to match the way my Savior communicates! I'm going to straighten my own room now! While I'm doing that, I'm going to pray for God to give me another chance next Wednesday!