The conversations I have with my children before bed and in the car (when no DVDs, DSIs, loud music or arguing are present) are perhaps my favorite moments of being a Mom. Witnessing the growth in their little belief systems and world views is often breath-taking. It leaves no room for doubt that God is at work in their little hearts and minds as they are learning to make sense of this world.
After dinner tonight the children and I were driving to WalMart when I started surfing channels on the radio. On a pop channel a song I had never heard came on and before I knew it a vulgarity was being sung clearly and loudly. ("Thanks for nothing kiss my...") I scrambled to change the channel, but it was too late.
R: "What happened to the song? I like rock and roll."
Me: "There was an ugly word, buddy."
K: "I think I heard it, Mom. I am not sure, but it was a word I hadn't heard before."
R: "Will you tell me so I know? I don't want to say it by accident one day."
P: "No! I do not want to hear it. I don't like having bad words stuck in my head."
K: "I know what they said Mom, but I don't know what it means."
This led to a conversation where I told them the word (and the phrase it was used in), explained that it was a very ugly way to say fanny, that there was no circumstance under which they should say it, and that if they did there would be consequences.
R: "Why would anyone say that?"
M: "It is just a mean and nasty way to be hurtful."
R: "My heart would be very sad if someone said something like that to me, Mom." (So sweet to hear this from my tough guy with his gravelly voice.)
P: "That's why I don't even like to hear bad words, Mom, it makes me sad." (He is my sensitive soul.)
K: (sighing) "It's all because of Adam & Eve eating that fruit isn't it, Mama?" (Her female intuition and insight blows me away sometimes.)
M: "Yes, babe, it is."
R: "I wish they had NOT done that."
P: "But God has a reason for everything that happens. Even they bad stuff."
K: "What would His reason be for that, Mama?"
M: "Well, I think it is as a reminder that He is God. We are not. When we trust Him and rely on Him life is much better than when we try to call our own shots. Without God we will make some pretty bad & selfish choices sometimes."
With that, we had arrived at our destination and the banter shifted back to more typical 7 year old subjects--like bodily functions, kittens and Pokemon.
I fumble and stumble through most of motherhood. I wish I could go back and redo far more than I rest peacefully in how things have unfolded. I cringe at myself daily. But I pray and I love and I have had to learn to trust God to fill in the multitude of gaps in my parenting.
Tonight I am grateful for those tiny glimpses we get here and there to what God is doing in little hearts and lives. There has never been a perfect Mama...never will be. Yet, God continues to entrust us with young lives and He is faithful to redeem our feeble efforts for His glory.
Keep on keeping on, Mamas.