Earlier today as I was in the bathroom getting ready I could hear Zachari down the hall playing with her babies. She's totally precious with them and its one of the joys of my day to get to watch her or eavesdrop from another room as she cares for all of them and pays such close attention to details like any good mama would. Today I heard her saying things like this:
"You okay, baby? Okay, that's good. I love you.
Oh yeah, that's good, you did it! Good job, sweetie!
Shh, shh, you're okay. I keep you safe, its okay baby. Your mommy is here.
You ready for another bite? Okay, here you go. Tastes good, huh? Good job!"
And she carried on...
As I listened, I thought to myself, 'Man, I'm such a good mother. Surely, Z is so sweet and caring towards her dolls because I (and Blinn) model that for her on a regular basis. I sure am thankful that she's not spanking them all the time, or putting them in time out, or yelling obscenities at them. I'm sure there are some kids like that..."
A few hours later in conversation, I realized how ludicrous and arrogant those thoughts sounded and how wrong I really am about my mothering skills. Sure, I care for Z in the best ways I know and I work hard at nurturing her in a loving, patient way, but I fall short. Every day. I fail. Every day. I lose my patience, probably every day. There are gobs of things she could model about me that I wouldn't be so fond of so its probably just that I heard her playing on a good day. Maybe she mimics all of my behaviors, the good, bad and ugly, more than I'll ever know.
I was reminded of Paige's talk in service yesterday morning about trying to make ourselves seem better than the next guy. Be it parenting, sports, cooking, etc., we are always trying to make ourselves out to be best at something. Lame. That's not what we're called to do as followers of Jesus. The Jesus who stands beside us does not take pride in our boastful nature or our sneaking forward just to make someone else look less. He hates it, actually. There's a lot in me He hates, I'm sure of it. To make the mood a little lighter yesterday, Paige showed this hi-larious Portlandia clip which of course made me laugh, but also smacked me in the face about how ridiculous I can be at times. And today especially, as I'm tooting my own horn about how kick-ass I am at parenting, I realize I'm really just a little guy and I have so, so much to learn. Humility and submission, being at the top of the list.
I'm thankful for lessons like this, as much of a blow to my pride as they might be. I'm thankful too for a god who loves me despite the crap I pull. My faith is ever-changing and in turn, my relationship with The Good Father continues to evolve. I'm thankful.