Don’t you love when your children put you right in your place with just a single little comment? They are like elephants collecting everything you do or say wrong and storing them into their own little minds. Waiting until you slip up or say something that makes them mad. They don’t forget anything. It’s all downloaded, ready to be thrown back into your face at the most opportune time.
Take my youngest angel Elijah, for example. His room continues to be a source of contention between us. We clean it up and then, in no less than five minutes, it’s completely destroyed. Turned upside down and inside out. I fuss and I fuss and I fuss. But it’s still a messy room.
The other day I was reminding him (in my oh so sweet non-nagging tone) to hang up all of the clothes on his floor and that his room looked like a pig lived there. He sighed and huffed and puffed and then finally looked up at me and asked it.
The one question that made me cringe like no other.
“Why do I have to hang up all of my clothes when your closet is way messier than mine?”
Why do kids have to be so observant?
And he’s right. My closet is a disaster. A total mess. If someone I didn’t know came into my closet and saw the clothes I have strewn everywhere and the shoes and all of the other junk, I would die of embarrassment.
I told Eli not to worry about my closet and to do what he was told. And he did begrudgingly.
But he still had a very solid point.
Children notice everything. And I’m talking about more than just dirty closets. They see the real mom and dad. They know what’s hiding behind our doors. What’s in our closets. We pray and we hope they will end up a certain way but then sometimes we, as their parents, do the exact opposite of what we wish for them.
We yell. We fight. We lie. We are selfish. Oh we do lots of things we don’t want them to do.
Maybe it’s time to clean up our own closets.
Here is what I want my own boys to see: Someone who loves them to no end. Someone who gets up everyday and sees her glass as very half full. Someone who messes up, but acknowledges it, and gets back up.
Someone who puts Christ first. Always.
I’m still working on these things. I am far from being the perfect mom. I will probably always have a few clothes strewn on the floor of my closet.
But man I hope the good stuff rubs off. I hope it stays with them. I pray I can one day look at my own two young men and think- Wow. They did see a lot of good. More good than bad.
I hope their real closets are clean too. Nicely organized and put together. Clothes never on the floor.
But I will know they didn’t get that from me.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.