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in which I demonstrate I actually have moments of effective mothering

We were driving to a lunch date with Ashley today and the car didn't really feel filled with harmony. Zion was babbling and reaching for Harvey and Harvey was yelling at the top of his lungs "Zion stop! STOOOOOP! ZION'S NOT LETTING ME REST!"

I tried to think of what I could say to guide their interactions in a helpful way. Something other than adding more yelling to the car.

"Harvey," I said, "I know how you feel. Sometimes when I want to rest and you're talking to me I find it annoying. What you could try is, instead of yelling at Zion, sit nice and quietly in your seat. Close your eyes. Think restful thoughts. Then even if Zion is talking to you, you could just ignore him and take a little rest in your own mind.

Harvey was quiet for a moment. Zion sneezed.

"Bless you Zion," Harvey said. Then he added in a voice that was all sweetness and light: "Mama, I'm not telling Zion to do anything. I'm just saying 'Bless you Zion.'"

Now. I hate it when bloggers are all "Everything that comes out of my child's mouth is a beautiful penny from heaven." It's sappy and it's lame and most of the time children are not spiritually deep they're just plain silly. But this spoke to my soul with the voice of God himself: don't tell them what to do — just bless them.

And after our lunch date with Ashley, when Harvey was skipping down the path to the playground saying "I'm hopping for joy!" it felt as if we really were blessing each other, as if the clouds parted and I really truly enjoyed playing in the park with my children. Of course, I shouldn't underestimate the value of talking with another adult during the day, or eating a big sandwich full of meat (I'm still a bit protein deprived, despite my commitment to cooking obscene amounts of lentils.) Or being outside on a nice day, or being excited about Ashley's wedding, or knowing that when I got in the car Dan was at home waiting for me. All very important for emotional management. But still I think there's something helpful in all of us saying to each other, "I'm not telling you to do anything. Bless you."


What a great post, and great reminder that any number of things can 'set us off', but a blessing will cut through all of the other muck and remind us of truth & God's promises...seems like a rainbow came out in your day! :-)

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