Anyways, for some reason three of them were in trouble and had to stay in their room for time out while the other three got to go out and play. Watching the three kids playing, the mom looks at the camera and giggling says something to the effect of, "Wow, how easy would triplets be?!" I remember laughing in agreement at the time, but I had never even parented one kid, let alone two or three... or six or eight.
When we left for China just six short weeks ago, I was still trying to figure out how to be a parent to one child. Panic would set in when I allowed myself to think about how I might do anything with two. I was somewhat convinced we may not be able to leave the house until the girls left for college. But after being home a full month, we are managing surprisingly well and have not only seen the outside of the house, but we've actually successfully come home with groceries a few times.
But a thought drifted through my mind the other day during a stressful toddler moment. I thought how easy it would be if there was just one. It was one of those moments that is probably starting to turn my hair gray, although I haven't had a chance to look in the mirror in several weeks so someone please let me know if that's the case. But toddlers are much like the weather in Houston. If you don't like it, wait 30 seconds and it'll change.
On the verge of scolding myself in my inner monologue for this bad mommy thought, suddenly the girls began chasing each other around the kitchen laughing hysterically. So, of course, my eyes promptly started dripping.
Yes, sometimes they steal toys and hit and scream and bite, but most of the time they want to be right next to each other exploring, playing, dancing, running, and laughing. They love each other. They need each other. And I very much need them.
Becoming a parent has definitely helped changed my perspective. Life is no longer about numero uno. Being a parent means constantly teaching, disciplining, loving, serving, entertaining, and protecting. And to be able to do that, a parent has to see and understand the bigger picture of the world around the child, but they also have to get down on the child's level to see things through their little peep hole of life.
Learning how to see from those perspectives reminds me of how God sees us. He sees the bigger picture much clearer than we do. Sometimes He gives us boundaries and protects us. Sometimes He allows us to learn the hard way. Sometimes He has to discipline us. Most of the time He is patient and offers us far more grace than we deserve. He even stepped down from His throne in heaven and walked a few miles in our shoes, seeing life from our angle.
In my slightly less frazzled state these days, I'm asking God to keep teaching me how to love my kids the way He loves me. God, please teach me to love my children enough to discipline them and to offer them grace beyond what they deserve.