Friday, February 27, 2009

~What Are You Raising?~

Raising kids is messy...can't get around it, just no way, no how.

Though I must admit that my mind has contemplated the many ways that I might be able to avoid it. Unfortunately, all of those ways amount to zero fun for my children, and maybe an overuse of duct tape...

It was one of those weeks where I found myself constantly behind. You know the one where you are trying to get ahead of the game but you keep finding yourself two steps back.
Upon completing one long overdue chore you find that one or two others are now ready to be done again.
I was feeling frustrated with my progress, irritated with the insurmountable (or so it seemed) piling up.

I came down from upstairs where I had been working on something to find 3 of my children in front of a drawing tutorial on DVD. They had set themselves up with pencil and papers on the piano bench parked in front of the television. All seemed well until I noticed that my 3 yr. old had also wanted to take part in the lesson and had situated himself also with a paper and was happily drawing on the sofa chair behind them.

The difference became glaringly obvious when I suddenly noticed what he was drawing and "missing" with. It was a dry erase marker! Otherwise known as "permanent, never to come out, make me cry, stain !"
I quickly surveyed the damage. He had not only hit the sofa chair but also the big pretty show pillow that rests there. Oh mercy, I thought I was going to pop a blood vessel or at least a varicose vein. I was mad!

I think I let out a huge gasp followed by many short breaths which might have resembled a little hyperventilating. All four faces looked quite distressed by the sounds that were coming from me, not to mention the facial expressions I was probably making. I knew I had to make a quick exit or I was going blow!

I ran to the bathroom so I could gather myself. I knew that in the great scheme of things this was no big deal. In that moment I could do great damage to my children's spirits if I let my anger get the best of me. My little guy hadn't taken the marker and purposely drawn on the chair. He had only intended to take part in what his older siblings were doing. His childish actions were an accident and in all his focused drawing he hadn't even noticed his mishaps.

It's the moments when we are already overwhelmed, tired and feeling a little defeated that we are at most risk to think less clearly, to make bigger deals out of something that really isn't.

Sure it stunk, it felt huge at the time. Partially because I waited almost 12 years of marriage to buy one stitch of new furniture. Up until that point, we had never owned anything new. Everything was either garbage picked or someone else's giveaway. In a 1 and 1/2 year time span we had been blessed to be able to buy a fair bit of new furniture and had outfitted a couple of rooms in our new home. So I've been a tad bit "protective" we'll say of that furniture the last 3 years.

When reflecting on this I came across an article where Harmon Killebrew had told a story when he was being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Him and his brother had been playing in the yard and their mother had gotten upset.

"You're tearing up the grass!" she complained.
Harmons dad replied, "We're not raising grass; were raising boys."

We have to be so careful not to value stuff, order, a perfect schedule, a spotless home over all the messiness that children bring into our lives. Kids require so much work and so much of ourselves to raise them. However, we should never make them feel guilty because of that.

That being said, I'm now going to remind myself that I'm not raising furniture; I'm raising kids.


Dawnelle said...

great post- so true!

Robin Saylor said...

thanks ... i needed that today.
ps i want to see a photo of the chair!

Anonymous said...

you make me proud

Anonymous said...

Thank you really needed to read this today. Really, really, really. Where do I draw the line in wanting them to keep the house clean and just letting them be kids. They are not going to make the bed perfect, and have all the clothes hung up perfectly on the hangers, only an inch apart in the closet, and I crushing their spirit. When they say, Mommy come play with us, I respond that I cna't because I have to clean the bathrooms. Oh how I want to do the right thing, but somehow I always feel like I am doing everything wrong.

The Passionate Housewife said...

Dearest Julie Williams,
I have no way of responding to you except through the comments here.

I so want to encourage you...

Please email me at

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