so, I received the dreaded email...back in my day (I sound eighty saying that!) it was the dreaded phone call...now it's the dreaded email or dreaded text...but, might I add...when you send or receive an email or text you can review what you plan to say and say it properly...nothing is said in haste or gets blurted out...
the dreaded email: an email from another parent very kindly letting me know that my daughter, in short, bullied her daughters and another girl at our new mother/daughter book club. I approached my C, read the email to her, and she confirmed that the incident was indeed true. Talk about break my heart.
As a mother, I am so glad that this other mother felt brave enough to tell me...I mean how horrible would you feel to be that mother that all the other moms shy away from because they don't have the guts to tell you that your child isn't nice to theirs?
it does take a village, it really does, and I always always tell my husband how much I miss having Joyce and Daphne to help me hold my children accountable...you know the kind of people you can call when your child is throwing a tantrum in target and they will calmly come and take your child for you, they will tell you not to worry they remember those days with their children, they will tell you that you are a good mother and give you advice for how they would handle it...I have been so sad not to have my parenting support system here in our new (snowy) residence. I love being near my parents, don't get me wrong, but they are the grandparents, as they should be...so, in their eyes, my oldest especially [the firstborn grandchild ;o)], could do no wrong, and the idea of any form of discipline is pure absurdity! which brings me to why I am posting this...I need a village!
my husband reminded me that this other mother must have had a great deal of respect for me to feel that she could approach me and tell me about the book club incident, which I SO appreciate, and he reminds me that our children make and will make their own choices, that in nothing they choose/do/accomplish can we take credit or blame for...and he reminded me that we, as parents, hope that our children will get caught in minor little offenses like this at a young age...that we see them as opportunities for growth...he reminded me time and again that this has nothing to do with me...but, as a girl who gave up pre-med to be a mom, it is so hard to let go of the connection that these behaviors have to me...I suppose deep inside I am saying that she should be the best behaved child because I did everything "right," everything by the books...I stayed home, I breastfed, I got her on that darned schedule that all the books told me to do (actually other mothers did), I read to her in the womb and all of the time from birth on, I played classical music, joined Wednesday night kids' church groups, I put her in preschool, I make her lunches everyday, I did timeouts, I did playgroups...and the list goes on, LOL...I did it right, darn it...and now my child is bullying people?! Okay, I hope you can hear the sarcasm in my tone...because deep inside I know that we are all failures, we all fall, my child is human just as I am...and today God has given me a true growth opportunity for my child, and an opportunity to show grace...funny, I JUST prayed for more grace to give my kids last week (SO not kidding!!) and here it lands right in my lap. LOL knowing this doesn't stop the questions from running through my head, though...I mean, really, who wouldn't question their own parenting skills when they hear news like this? when you love your child so much and pour yourselves into raising them, wouldn't you blame yourself and ask what it is you are doing wrong? after years of meltdowns and public tantrums...after seeing these behaviors exhibited at home, who wouldn't start to say "do I need to look into this?" "is something wrong with my child? what can I do to help him/her?" "where did I go wrong?"
then God reminds me “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.” (Romans 10:21b)...and I suddenly have a peace about it all. So, that said, thank you to the other mother who is helping to be my village, and thank you to my heavenly Father who shows me love and grace in the midst of my own hurtful behaviors, and gives me opportunities to grow, daily.