So often, in mothering, I feel like a failure... I feel as though I get it wrong about 90% of the time.
This morning I was startled awake by an awkward hug from the man-cub. A gruffly "thanks Mom!" and a quick hug... over before I could comprehend. As he stumbled to the shower, I smiled and said "Thanks Lord! I got it right!"
Up in the wee early hours this morning praying for my kids, I was struck with the memories of my own teenage insecurities. So often, I found myself wondering if I was really loved. When my parents said "no", my teenage heart would transfer that to "I don't love you." When my parents couldn't take me places I wanted to go, my teenage spirit heard that as "you are not as important." When my parents would tell me that we could not afford something, I interpreted that as "you are not worth that." All that and more was heard through my warped teenage filter. The funny thing is, though, that I had no idea my filter was distorted by hormones, insecurities and peers.
I saw glimpses of this misinterpretation taking place in my son's spirit this week. He had an away football game tonight... an hour away and I have 1/8th of a tank of fuel until pay day tomorrow. Four times this week he asked if we were going to his game and four times I said "no, we can't." The fourth time I realized the question behind the question. He was asking, "Am I important? Do you love me? Are my games as important as Emily's?"
I had purchased a team hoodie as a surprise for him. I wasn't sure when I was going to give it to him and had even considered taking it to school and hiding it in his locker for his first home game next week. Instead, I felt the Spirit tugging at 1:45 this morning. I took the sweatshirt out of hiding and hung it in the shower. He got his sweatshirt on the hottest day of school. The heat index today was 98*. It didn't matter, though. His new hoodie with "KREIDER 86" on the back went to school with him today. To him, that sweatshirt was affirmation... a reminder that I am important, I am loved, I am worth it.
I don't always get it right. I fail miserably in reading and understanding my kids. I see and hear them through my own warped filter. My filter that is distorted by pride, selfishness and fatigue. In that hug, I learned a valuable lesson today. It's only when I hear and see them through the filter of Christ do I get it right.