This morning was our typical harried morning. After dragging the kids out of bed (none of them are morning people) and making them eat breakfast, we were just about ready to head out the door for school.
Suddenly Bug cried, “Where’s my backpack?”
Now, I must backtrack. While I do the morning drop offs, Sportsguy takes care of afternoon pick ups. Two different cars. Do you see where I’m going with this?
Every afternoon Sportsguy and I tell Bug to bring his backpack in the house right away. Most of the time he grunts, “Later.”
To give Bug credit, most of the time “Later” actually happens, and the backpack makes it’s way into the house. But not last night.
Back to this morning…
“Bug, did you bring your backpack in from Daddy’s car yesterday?”
“Nooooooo…..I NEED my math assignment!”
I had a choice to make. Miraculously we were running early, and I actually had time to run by Sportsguy’s workplace to pick up the backpack. But what would that teach my son?
I had a mental war with myself on the way to school. To bail my son out or not? That was the question.
Blinking back the tears, I passed the turnoff toward Sportsguy’s workplace and continued on to school. Bug was unhappy. He had no idea how hard it was for me to resist the urge to rescue him.
The day came and went. When Sportsguy and Bug came home, I noticed Bug was carrying his backpack as he walked through the door. Lesson learned, apparently.
As a parent, it’s hard to watch my babies suffer, even if they bring the suffering on themselves. I want to spare them the consequences of their actions, but what does that teach them? It reinforces their irresponsibility, and I do not want to raise irresponsible adults.
Sometimes we parents need to do the hard thing. We need to step back and let our children fail, while they are still under our loving care. I’m sure that’s a lot easier than watching them fail when they are adults, and we have less influence.
And as I blink back the tears while watching my son face the consequences of his poor decision, I wonder how often my Heavenly Father blinks back the tears watching me bear the consequences of my poor decisions? Hopefully I learn my lessons as well as Bug learned his.