I’m a mama of two Wild Ones. I’m proud of them.
A friend of mine just posted on Facebook a link to THIS article from Lysa TerKeurst.
Wow. She hit the nail on the head. If you are (or aren’t) a parent to wild ones, read it. I am so glad I did. Her description of her daughter’s antics at the mall, could have easily been a scene for my life. Oh wait, there was a very similar situation with my oldest son and a friend’s toilet… More than once I have left a playdate in tears, feeling like I must be doing something wrong. None of the other children act that way? What did their parents do differently? No one else has to chase their laughing toddler through the restaurant because he could open all the doors before the age of 2 and refuses to stay in the play area! The other kids aren’t more interested in exploring the whole house, instead of playing with the toys. No one else has to ask for a new high chair, one with a working seat belt… At times I’ve even been treated by other moms as if I must be doing something wrong. It’s not uncommon for strangers to give my children dirty looks, or give heavy sighs as we go by.
With having wild boys, I have realized that so many people don’t get it. They don’t see what I do, and they sure can’t see what lies ahead. They assume we are doing something wrong in our parenting methods, never considering that God made my boys the way they are for a reason. Both of my boys are curious, unafraid to tackle a new challenge on their own, and love to learn from experience. How do those people think adults become that way? They start out that way, as little wild ones. 🙂 They both have the biggest, sweetest hugs imaginable – hugs that aren’t just reserved for mommy but are also for friends, family members, pets, church leaders, babysitters, and each other. Sometimes I get more joy from seeing them hug someone else than when they hug me. I’m their mom. They are born with strings tying their hearts to mine. I meet their daily needs and kiss their boo-boos. They are choosing to love others with those hugs though. The Boy is a born leader – no question about that one 🙂 Brother is an encourager, both to his big brother’s antics and to his mommy every morning when I think it’s too early to get up, but he’s there smiling at me and jumping in his bed. His laughter is infectious. I have always said that I can’t wait to see what amazing things God has in store for my spirited boys. What on earth could require so much energy, fearlessness, creativity, and love? It must be something big. But sometimes it is hard to remember that when you are dealing with rude comments and stares from strangers and people you know, and you’re chasing two toddlers going in opposite directions.
Last week, an older gentleman paused as he approached me in the aisle of a local bookstore. My heart sank; I knew he was going to say something negative or give a big sigh, and I really didn’t have the time, energy, or emotional strength to deal with it that day. I was chasing my oldest toddler across the store, trying to keep him from emptying the shelves or running out the door, while my dad held my youngest toddler (upside down, by his legs) to keep him from emptying the shelves. All I wanted was to get one sheet of stickers and have 3 pieces of paper laminated. (That sounded a lot easier before we entered the the store, found out the lamination machine needed to be turned on and heated up, and one of my sons decided that was great time for a dirty diaper.) That man didn’t sigh though. He smiled and said, “Don’t get upset. They will grow out of it. Don’t get upset, Mama.” I could have cried, and almost did.
You see, just that morning I had attempted to take the boys to the park for a picnic and some playtime before running a couple of errands. My husband had been out of town for most of the week for work, and had left that morning to take some fence posts to my grandma’s farm. I couldn’t put the errands off anymore, and the weather was nice for the first time in weeks. We made our way to the park, but after feeding Brother and eating my own lunch, The Boy was still screaming hysterically because I was cruelly making him sit with me instead of running off to play by himself without eating his lunch. While so many little ones want to drag mommy and daddy to the playground, he would gladly take off on his own adventure. Lots of people just ignored him, but a few people were not so kind. I heard more than one rude comment and saw lots of stares. Sometimes I feel like a ticking time bomb; I’m waiting to kick a stranger in the shins and scream, “I’m sorry you had perfect little girls that were too afraid of upsetting someone to be disobedient or a little boy who was too much of a mamas boy to leave your side for 5 minutes until he was 25! That’s not my kid! Deal with it!” Then God sends that one person to give me an encouraging word or a helping hand, and reminds me that someday I will be that compassionate lady in the grocery store, mixing a bottle for the stressed out mama with two crying babies, unaware that it’s the first time she’s left the house alone with both of them, she hasn’t seen her husband in almost a week, she just had to juggle both of them to pee and change the newborn’s diaper in the dirty bathroom with no counter or changing table, and three other women walked by her without even giving an encouraging smile. (I would love to see that lady again, so I could give her a hug!) I also pray that on that day, my wild ones will be using their adventurous spirits and loving hearts for whatever God has planned for them.