I've been reading a book by Mike Mason,
called the Mystery of Children, in snatches here and there.
One of his thoughts caught my eye...
actually it took a little of the wind out of my sails.
"Children expose our idols. Every time we think of a child as
interrupting or interfering with our lives,
it's because we have erected an idol in the place
where love alone ought to reign."
It is one of the struggles of raising these little people.
They are always getting in the way,
they expose us for who really are and
they just can't be taught to keep our secrets.
They see how we live, our inconsistencies or shortcomings,
and they tell on us at the most inopportune times.
Like at the park, to a clutch of innocent bystanders,
they will reveal things like,
"My mom has a lot of purple underwear. She has some on now."
Or on Sunday, when people arrive,
they greet our friends at the door saying,
"My mom is angry. Did you hear her yelling at me?"
It is like living with a tiny version of the paparrazi.
They are out to reveal the real story.
They will question me,
"Mom, can I have some chocolate?"
"No, you don't need any sweets."
"But then why are you eating chocolate chips?"
I swear they can smell the chocolate on my breath from 100 paces.
They are like those bomb sniffing dogs except they seek out
my contraband candy stash and my weakness is unearthed.
A lot of times, they witness my lack of mothering skills.
They find it hard to keep my attention or get my input
when I am "busy with important things" like laundry,
e-mail or talking on the phone.
Lately, after the kids are in bed,
I have been collapsing in front of the tv to unwind.
I rush through bedtime prayers and tuck them in as if on a mission.
Will, especially, will call to me from him room,
as I am fleeing to the couch, requesting a lullaby.
And I call back to him,
"It's too late. Maybe tomorrow night."
After all, Mommy needs her down time.
The time between the kiddos bed time and my own is sacred.
Perhaps a bit of an idol, as Mike Mason would say.
There is little possibility of love reigning there.
Anyone known to infringe on it could be taken out at the knees.
So this week, I have made some changes.
Even though I am bushed and drained and really wanting to watch
some good-for-nothing tv, I am singing lullabies.
I am laying down next to my boys and wrapping them up in my arms.
I am singing a song of their choosing and praying over them,
slowing down enough so they can hear my words
and so I can feel the rhythm of their breathing.
And it's been good.
Because it's always good, isn't it, when you give an idol the boot
and let a little love reign.
And who doesn't love a good lullaby?