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irony and realizations

January 16, 2009

I’ve worked pretty hard to teach my boys the importance of honesty. Lying is one of those things that just doesn’t go over well at our house. But still, now and then, they need a reminder. We started out the morning with one of those reminder conversations. Little did I know that seemingly insignificant conversation would preface a major parenting realization.

Rewind a few months… After losing my mind trying to homeschool with a toddler in the house, I decided to abandon our freshly organized and appropriately furnished school room and move our educational efforts to the kitchen table. The idea was that the child who wreaked havoc on that small room when confined for so long might behave a little better if we moved downstairs with more room to roam, more toys, more freedom. It seemed like a good choice.

Now that I’m not trying to keep him in the school room, that is the only place he wants to be. It is a paradise full of all his favorite forbidden things – scissors, glue, pens, markers and crayons. Long story short… I now have to keep the school room locked during school hours. How is that for irony?

Back to this morning… I was sure all the doors upstairs were locked. All but little one’s room. So when he was quiet for a while, I assumed he was happily playing with his trains in his room. I sent my oldest upstairs with the key to retrieve some more schoolwork. Yes, the door was locked. But unfortunately the curious toddler was locked INSIDE the room. It all became very clear when I heard my son yell, “MOM!!! What Sawyer did is worse than lying!”

As I spent the next 30 minutes scrubbing  red marker out of the carpet, I couldn’t get those words out of my mind. Worse than lying? Have I really taught my kids through my own reactions that childishness is worse than a real genuine heart issue? Have they really learned that destruction of “stuff” is the worst infraction imaginable?

Of course they have. If I’m going to get really upset about something, that is it. Big messes, broken things, and carelessness. Those are the things that are the most likely to cause me to lose my temper. But are those really the things that matter?

In my heart I know what is true. I know that the condition of my children’s hearts is more important than a clean house, more important than my carpet or the furniture or the car. But I haven’t done the greatest job conveying that message to them. I’m thankful for this little reminder from God. I guess this time He did write it down for me… all over my carpet in red marker.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. joycomesinthemorning permalink
    February 6, 2009 4:10 pm

    I just discovered your Blog. Let me say you have done a beautiful job dividing everything into categories. I love titles. I am a writer, but it is the opposite with me. My teachers say don’t put a title until the story is finished, but give me a title and I will write a story about it. Anyway, I enjoyed reading some of your blogs and the pictures. Wish I knew how to set mine up like this.

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