So, today I was having a bad day. I was angry at my 17 year old son, which is a common state of being for me these days. I was angry at his lack of motivation, his failure to help with anything around the house, the way he ignores his responsibility and lives completely from his id, and with the general disrespect he has shown me on occasions too numerous to number in the past few years. I asked to speak to him in the living room. I asked for the conversation in neutral territory because of some advice I had read in some parenting book that said I should not ‘attack’ him in his space… that requesting time in a neutral space is a better choice. While I waited for him to decide to actually get up and comply with my request [which, trust me, he does in his own meandering time], I headed to [where else?] Facebook. I was led straight to a status from a good friend I used to teach with where he offered a link to his wife’s blog and an interview she did with their preschool daughter. I read this interview with such pleasure that I virtually forgot the onerous task I was waiting to confront. I smiled at her answers and scrolled down the page to read another entry about a recent bout at the emergency room in a foreign country after this same preschool girl, called Ladybug in the blog, had swallowed a hair clip. This narrative was so real and so funny, I got lost in it. In closing, Sheila references a portion of a Psalm that offers a bird or angel metaphor and relates this to mothering [or parenting]. An excerpt from this blog follows:
After Ladybug was x-rayed and the doctors pronounced that she will be OK and the hair clip will pass on its own (and she threw up a few more times at the hospital), she came home to spend the night throwing up here. My momma heart was so broken for her in her pitiful state and I was reminded of how our Heavenly Father is compared to a momma hen in Psalm 91:When I got to this part of the blog, I dissolved into tears and the cold anger in my heart melted instantly away. I literally sobbed, wanting then only to take my son into may arms and hold him. You see he has reasons for his awful behavior, that I sometimes forget. The main reason is that he is a teenager and he is wearing his insides on his outside. But there are other reasons…. His dad and I separated when he was 12… in case you are wondering… a terrible age for this to occur. When he was 13, his Dad moved away and headed into a disappointing mid-life crisis that he weathered by acting out in anger in every direction. When he was 15, he was able to behave so badly that I sent him to live with his Dad. This turned out to be a blessing, because they built a needed bridge and made some wonderful memories. But then, when he was 16, his Dad was killed in a boating accident while on vacation, and my son’s life was turned over and shaken upside down again. This all happened to his brother, who was 22 when his Dad died, too. But for this child, who has always felt things deeper than most and who happened to be this very pivotal age, this tragedy upon tragedy almost did him in. He has a bad attitude almost every day, he makes bad decisions, and behaves badly, but I am his mother. And no matter how old he is, I can tuck him under my wing. Tonight, because of reading this blog, I did just that. When he came into the room to talk, I received him differently than I would have before my watershed moment. Coincidence? Well, I don’t think so. In fact, there is no doubt in my mind that this was an answered prayer. So tonight, after this ‘bad day,’ I am grateful for my children, even the one with the bad attitude, for friends, for words, for insight, for faith, and for a change in perception that came at exactly the right moment ✠
He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.When I have done something stupid (like swallowing a hair clip), or am sick and pitiful, my Heavenly Father wants to tuck me under His wings, much like I tucked Ladybug under mine last night. It was a long, rough night, but I’m her mom. And as much as she has worn me out lately with bad decisions, bad behavior, and bad attitudes, I would never deny her the spot underneath my feathers.