Tuesday, May 3

one of the great things about having a kid...

is having a ready-made excuse for a vast assortment of situations.

need to get out of going to party you don't really want to attend? can't find a sitter for the kiddo. 

need to leave a party early? the kiddo needs his nap. 

you forgot that you left your kiddo's sippie cup in a bag with all the library books? whoops. 

i went to the library all set to blame this error in judgment on matthew. i know it's terrible, but i have a tough time accepting that i have made a mistake, and it's just easier to place the blame on the kiddo, knowing that the consequences will be vastly less once the offended party knows that he's just a little one.

but as i arrived, i searched my heart and discovered i was incapable of placing the blame on matthew, even though he would have blissfully and obliviously endured the stigma of being the one who wet the books.

i have come to the realization that even though you may consider yourself to be all grown up and adult-ish, the looming event of having to fess up and admit you did something wrong or caused something awful to occur is really hard.

i hate having to admit i made a mistake. i hate having to take responsibility for an error, and would much rather pretend it never happened, or hope no one noticed.

as a parent, this is actually one of my big goals: i want to teach my children to take responsibility. i want them to be independent and make their own decisions, and then deal with the consequences, whether good or bad.

i grew up in a sheltered home. my parents were generous and took excellent care of my siblings and i, and always made sure we had everything we needed. but i feel that because i was so sheltered, my parents were much more willing to share in the consequences of my actions, to step in and save me when i floundered.

i was tremendously grateful at the time, but i now feel a little less able to embrace life, make important decisions with confidence, and accept that good or bad consequences may follow. i am a little more reliant on the opinions and advice of others, and i know this contributes to my need to please and to meet expection (for more on this, read this blog post).

so my goal as a parent is to empower my children: hopefully give them wisdom to make proper decisions, and courage to face the consequences like a man (or a woman).

but that still leaves me, sometimes wanting to run and hide from bad consequences (or hide behind my own child). not very grown up or courageous, really.

i was talking to my dear friend viktorija today about an earlier blog post, and she asked to what conclusion had i arrived at the end of the post. i realized that sometimes you don't have the answer yet. i often get the answer when i least expect it and most need it.

so i don't know what the answer to this is yet, either. but i have an idea what my husband jonathan would say: he would say that i just need to do it. i need to make decisions with confidence and then deal with consequences as they arise. practice makes perfect.

ah, but can't i just be perfect from the get-go? no? darn it.

alright, i accept that flawed decisions will probably be made tomorrow. i will do my best to avoid them, but will put on my grown up face as best i can and deal with the circumstances. i will try not to blame my kid for everything.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things i cannot change, courage to change the things i can, and wisdom to know the difference. 

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