Last night I told Brian that I had seen a list of things parents never thought they would have to say… until they had a boy. The list was funny, but most were pretty mild. I mean, “Why is there pee on the floor?” is amongst our weekly refrains which usually ends in all three boys pointing immediately at another brother.
I was pretty sure that I could top most of the other parents’ responses since my life is pretty hilarious (at least to me). We’ve said, “No, Darth Vader did NOT make you do it!”, “Why in the world would you and your cousin decide to try to poop on your baby brother?”, “Don’t worry, your guinea pig is not an animagus!”, “You cannot dive out the school window to get to the playground!”, “Hand sanitizer never goes in your eyes!!!”, and “You CANNOT pray to Goliath!”.
Yup. I was feeling pretty proud of my list: my kids seemed like funny little people…
Until today. One day is all it took for me to regret the fact that my kids seem to do hilariously unexpected things. I don’t think pride in my list was warranted nor does it seem that having a funny list of things I’ve had to say is actually all that I thought it was. You see, today, I won the contest.
I had to say:
“Never, ever, ever, throw Olaf at a Monet!”
I think I hate Olaf.
And yes. I said, “Monet”. As in Claude.
I’ve been feeling really cooped up lately, but I’m not up to much yet since I’m still healing so we decided to go to a museum so we could walk around. I love art and after months of lots of pain and doing very little, the idea seemed perfect.
Things were going really well (if you don’t count saying “don’t touch” a gazillion times while looking at sculptures) until I paused for a minute to read the tag about the Monet painting on display. Apparently one minute was too long for the three-year old whose hand I had been holding in a vice grip. He used his other hand to pull off his Olaf beanie and chuck it directly at the painting.
I realized with absolute and utter horror what was happening when I saw that carrot nose whizzing by out of the corner of my eye.
Thank God there was glass over that painting. I still can’t believe everyone failed to notice my three-year old’s attempt to give the world yet another reason beyond “Let it Go” to hate the Frozen characters.
And I said it: “Never, ever, ever, throw Olaf at a Monet.”
I dragged him away immediately (probably what he wanted though) and confiscated his hat (what he didn’t want at all).
In regards to the craziest things boys will make you say, I think I’ve won… but I definitely don’t want to win anymore.
Because no matter what, parenting isn’t a competition. Life isn’t a competition. We put too much stock in who is doing better or worse, when what matters is far more profound.
To be perfectly honest, I’ve been struggling these past few months with how sick I have been. I’m still bruised from the accident that wasn’t even our fault… and it doesn’t matter that it wasn’t our fault. While I am completely for taking responsibility, at a point whose responsibility it is doesn’t matter. We have to learn to gracefully accept and respond to whatever we are given because it is given to us for a reason: this is our responsibility in any and every circumstance.
I think God cares far more about our hearts in any situation than how we outwardly respond. It isn’t fitting that we should be looking around and comparing ourselves to how everyone else is doing or what they have, for better or worse, instead of fixing our eyes on Him and Him alone.
Fair is a tough thing in our culture. I get far too upset that everything in life isn’t fair when in reality, things are more than fair for me. Fair is getting what I deserve and Jesus already took that punishment for me with His death on a cross. If anybody should be complaining about life not being fair, it is Him. And He never did. He offered us grace.
I’ve already won: I’ve been given what I could never have hoped to earn. This grace pulls us into a relationship with Him and changes us, otherwise it is a cheap imitation of this real and life-giving grace. I know a lot of people will disagree with me that giving up my life and living it for something other than myself is pointless, but isn’t the point to do just that? We are ironically most fulfilled when not seeking self-fulfillment.
I know who I am: a sinner. Any life I lead under my own power for what I want is going to be void of value. Trying to become a better version of myself or live a fuller life with faith isn’t really faith. It is an exercise in humanism where the point is to make ourselves happy and we only end up chasing our own tails like we have been doing for centuries. We’ll never outrun or educate ourselves out of this darkness in our heats. It won’t happen. It can’t happen. We’re sinners. I’m a sinner. My three year old is a sinner.
Which is why I was thrilled that he just decided to accept Christ as his Lord and Savior (on Friday the 13th, as fits his personality) and incidentally, right before the Olaf versus Monet debacle. Apparently “Trouble”, aka three year old, thought waiting a minute for a painting was unfair. Olaf probably thought being flung through the air at artwork was unfair. And Claude, well… I’m just glad he didn’t live to see this day as assuredly he would have thought a cartoon character accosting his masterpiece was unfair (again, I’m so thankful for the glass and the fact that Olaf is only yarn!). Clearly forgiveness doesn’t change our nature or our struggle with fairness, but it does begin the process of being made into a new creation.
I’m just not sure said three year old deserves that hat back yet though. It might be awhile.
And if you happen to be a security guard at a museum, and you found some really interesting security camera footage… please know that I am profoundly sorry and Olaf is never, ever, coming in again as will be the case with any other loose items on my three-year old and he will most like be in a straight jacket if I ever allow him to return which at present is unlikely. And if it is any further consolation, I’m going to have Frozen-themed nightmares in the Impressionist style tonight.
Don’t Forget to Pin it!