Do you have moments when you fear for your children? I’m not talking about kidnapping or tornadoes or bad skin in high school, though I think about those things too. The looming fear today is that my children will turn out like me and I have a problem keeping my mouth shut. Seriously. I don’t really appreciate the eye rolling some of you are doing right now because you already KNEW I am mouthy. Just pretend this is news, all right? I’m suffering here.
Mitchell is in the throes of developing this unfortunate personality trait. It’s the inner censor that he’s just a bit slow in embracing. Last week we were visiting a church on a Sunday out of town. The pastor, bless his heart, was doing his darndest to involve the children for a children’s sermon. Now, any parent with young children could have told him to get them to scream “Jesus loves me!”, lead them in a rousing chorus of “Father Abraham,” and bribe them with a Tootsie Pop. Then pray a quickie, release them all sugared up to their unsuspecting parents, and call yourself a genius.
This man, though, was far more conscientious than I and wanted the children to understand something about the value of stillness. You know, stillness. SECOND NATURE to twenty-five children under six. Does this look like a child ready for that particular spiritual discipline?
Poor, poor, well-intentioned pastor. The finale involved sending the children to all parts of the sanctuary in order for them to practice stillness in our presence. They weren’t very good at it. But this brings me to my censor-free son. In the most quiet moment of the Stillness Rehearsal, Mitch said, FULL VOICE:
“Okay, this is weird.”
He drew out the last word to be about four syllables: “weeeeiiiiirrrrrrrrrrrrd.” I shriveled, though inwardly agreeing, and had to smile apologetically for the rest of the sermon whenever I caught the eye of a local parishoner. “Sorry,” my eyes said. “He’s just like me. Here’s his dad.” I’d nudge Marc with my elbow. “He’s TOTALLY socially appropriate! You’d really like him and probably ask him to be an usher!”
I try telling my mother these stories, looking for empathy, some cooing about the trials and travails of parenting kids who talk too much. All I get from her, though, is lots of giddy giggling. Sometimes she erupts into a cackle, whooping, slapping her knee and saying things like, “I knew you’d get it all back,” and “Hee hee, ho ho, I’m done! Your turn!”
Ah, a mother’s love.
I’m off to practice stillness, but watch for the next post around here. I have a very fun way for you to get a FREE copy of Stretch Marks. You don’t want to miss out! In the meantime, read a sample chapter of the book here. See you soon…