No matter how much I try, I can never fully expect what they will come up with next. This photo, while a couple of years old, is evidence of that.
Luke was only three years old and had gotten in the habit of screaming, “NEEEEED COFFEEEEE!” It is always a good point to take pause when kids start doing some very adult behaviors. Apparently, I am far too coffee-dependent.
While I only drink decaf since caffeine makes my fibromyalgia worse, I still don’t like getting my kids in the habit of drinking it. So, that particular day when I told Luke “no” to coffee, he decided to take matters into his own hands.
He drank the day old, cold coffee straight from the pot. Guzzled it. Sobbed when I took it away.
Ironically, everyone told me to just give him black coffee and that would be the end of Luke’s coffee consumption.
Obviously, cold, black, and old were no deterrents.
Our two-year old, Jackson, just started begging for coffee this morning. Begging, as in lying on the floor screaming and sobbing, “NEEEEED COFFEEEEE!”. My first thought was, “definitely brothers.” My second: “definitely my kids”.
I don’t give them coffee. What they know of it is when they sneak sips from my cup when I’ve left it unattended. Not a wise move in this house, as some of our guests have discovered.
The boys have absorbed this “lesson” that coffee is good just from watching me. I drink it black half the time so I can’t even say their affection for it is because of the sugar content. It is simply parental example.
While drinking decaf coffee isn’t really a problem (albeit a bit gross when it is cold and a day old), it is a huge reminder to me that little eyes are watching. Every little thing I do.
They see what I eat, how much I exercise, if I keep my promises, how I talk about other people, how hard I work, my attitude especially with my chronic illness, and my relationship with Christ. Everything.
It is fun seeing them grow and exhibiting characteristics like me. It is hilarious. Most of the time. I cringe when they demonstrate the bad habits they’ve learned from me. It is a tremendous responsibility raising kids.
It starts with me. I want the best for my kids and that means that I need to start my parenting by being the best person that I can be; the person that God wants me to be. This shouldn’t ever be out of guilt, though. It isn’t a reaction against who we are, but rather a choice, an inspiration really, to do the right thing. It is a response to grace.
Every time I drink coffee now, I find myself thinking about my kids. It is a good thing to ponder with a morning cup: am I being the person that God wants me to be? And if I forget, the boys usually remind me when they ask me for a sip of my coffee.
I’m also reminded to make sure I wash out the coffee pot afterwards to thwart the scavengers…