I had a restorative brunch with some of my dearest friends this morning--an incredibly therapeutic way to start a busy Spring week. Among the many turns our conversation took was some confession on my part of an insecurity I am carrying related to one of my children.
I stop by the school a few times a week with a delivery that to a casual observer would seem absurd. Honestly, before I was in the situation I would have judged my actions as enabling, coddling from a Mama with too much time on her hands. Maybe in a few years, I will look back with a different perspective--but for now, they seem right, loving and appropriate.
My pride wants to explain why I am there and justify my decision--but my kids are now at an age where their story is not always mine to tell. It is not my responsibility to satisfy the curiosity of others or to assuage my pride by justifying actions. I'll risk judgment to protect my child's privacy and preserve our trust.
As I was talking with my friends, one of them teared up and shared a similar story from her adolescence--when her mother came to the school parking lot every day during PE to help her dress out so the other girls in the locker room wouldn't see her back brace and tease her. As tears streamed down her face she said, "I don't remember any of her lectures or specific lessons she intended for me at that age--but I remember that my Mama made sure I felt safe and loved."
We all laughed through our tears that this sacrificial act by her mother likely caused people who didn't understand the back story to label her in a negative way. I cringed at the realization I have certainly made the same mistake with my peers.
As an ex-Montessori Mama, a believer in empowering our kids, fostering independence and teaching our kids to be brave--I feel like a bit of a hypocrite. Yet, I am growing to realize that the most dangerous mistake we can make as parents is making broad, sweeping generalizations that we then cling to for the sake of our pride.
I am learning that mothering God's way means abiding in Him. Yes, there are general rules that always hold true--but those are fewer and farther between than I previously thought. God's grace is sufficient for TODAY--so I am trusting Him moment by moment, step by step and decision by decision. The road is different for each child. I'm trusting their Creator as my guide.
Furthermore, it is not my job to judge another Mama doing the same thing.
As we race toward the finish line of elementary school and look towards all the awkward, anxiety producing, exciting growth of middle school, I pray God will keep reminding me there is generally a lot more to the story than what we see on the surface--and most of us are just doing the best we can!