It’s vacation week. Please know that every word of this coming post is a reflection of this single fact.
I’m reading a book on motherhood. Always a bad idea for me. I got sucked in because I love the author and she’s both sharp/brilliant AND soft/maternal, and that combination exists out there in the writing world, like, not at all, it seems. (She’s Canadian. I think they do both/and much better than we Americans.) I’ve reached the point where I can neither Sheryl Sanders nor Michelle Duggar my way through daily family life; I needed a new take on things.
The book is lovely. It’s filled with marvelous sentiments about cherishing mundane moments and believing the best about children – assuming their young hearts are sweet and good, and that if you give them an inch, they won’t automatically take a mile. It talks about relaxing into parenting and trusting God to nurture both you and your children as you let go of your death grip on the details that comprise daily life. It’s wonderful, really. But holy mother of asparagus, it has ABSOLUTELY NO BEARING ON MY LIFE RIGHT NOW.
Over the past month or so, the Cherubs were doing so well that I let down my vigilance about a few things. We gave them a tiny bit more freedom, trusting them to make their own choices on a few things we’d had on lockdown.
Total freaking disaster. They’ve reacted like freed feral cats, flying off in every direction. We’ve lost so many of the gains we’d made over the long hard summer of Trish Being A Total Bitch To Establish All The Safe Boundaries. But I’m so tired of being a bitch.
(And before you let loose with an avalanche of good advice about the benefits of a soft voice & gentle words, let me just say that my TOTAL BITCH MODE, as interpreted by The Cherubs, is any time I don’t say YES to any request. We’re not talking yelling here. At least not often. We’re talking the never-ending hell that is running a home with military rules and precision because when YOUR kids see even a HINT of a given inch, their eyes grow wide with wonder at the possibility of taking ALL THE MILES.)
The upside of this is that I’ve learned with absolute certainty that I don’t like telling people what to do. The Cherubs now have every iota of the small amount of drill sergeant I have in me, such that, were someone to wander into our new church with a bottle of whiskey in one hand and a pack of tarot cards in the other, I’d probably just say “You should probably talk to Jesus about that,” smile, and invite them to join us for lunch.
It’s only Wednesday, friends. If the tone of the blog changes significantly in the coming days, it’s because I gave the wrong inch and The Cherubs have taken over the house, the car, AND the blog. At which point you can expect posts with titles like, “Doritos totally count a vegetable!” and “The 11 year old’s essential guide to high heels & makeup.”