Today was a great day...today I just sat back and enjoyed my children.
Many of our days are booked and planned. I do not enjoy sitting at home..."stay at home" mom or not...it is hard for me to actually participate in the stay part. Therefore, mid quiet time, I sat thinking about the long afternoon that stretched ahead. Dad wasn't in the picture for tonight, so that meant five hours of which I had nothing on the agenda. I felt like curling up and reading a book, however, I have learned that this only means fighting, bickering, 50 questions, crying about nothing to do and Amanda crawling all over me trying to get me to read her books. (Yes, I really have tried reading with the kids awake and though it can be done, I wouldn't recommend it if you want to retain the information in said book).
So...I decided, instead of playing bump on a log, merely biding my time and working myself into an irritable state, I was gonna find us something worth while. So, I called up my dad and scheduled to meet him after work at the train park. (This is a park a bit south from us that gives train rides for a slightly overpriced fee...my kids love it and we rarely go, cuz I do have a hard time paying for what it is...no matter how they adore it).
We went to the park and my kids were awesome. They listened. They waited over 30 minutes for papa to show up to ride the train (30 minutes for my boys waiting for a train, I believe feels to them like a quarter century...and I heard not one complaint). They shared with other kids. They rode the train. They said please and thank you.
Then, I wanted to check out a nearby toy store. The boys and I walked around it looking and looking. We exclaimed over what we loved. We checked out the AMAZING playmobil section. We discovered new lego sets. They didn't whine one bit or even ask for a toy. (Gavin did mention his birthday a few times, until I told him it was about 100 days away, which seemed to shut it down pretty quick).
We went to dinner and they were so polite. They ate happily, shared their food with each other (without prompting) and Brayden even saved three slices of his pizza for his dad "cuz he probably is sad and hungry".
I was just so proud of my kids. Today, I saw them implimenting so many things we have taught...the please, the thank you, sharing, listening, gratitude. The best part...I saw it without having to prompt it! Thank you God!
Truly, it was a gift from above. So many days we are in the mix of teaching behavior and morals and trying to get "life" done, that we miss seeing the things we have taught. I often find myself only catching the lessons the kids have missed...feeling like my day is a tape recording of "please stop", "what have I told you about ____?" "Is that a wise choice?" "Give it back." "What in the world!!!!" Or something along those lines.
Today, I am not sure if it was because I was making a conscience effort to do something my kids loved, or if it was just something God wanted me to see, but I saw that they are getting it. Maybe not all of it and not all the time, but it is there. It, being all the little things we try to teach along the way. And it is so encouraging, that in the mundane of life, when the days seem hard and you plod along, hoping against hope and praying diligently, the things you are trying to impart take some sort of root in their heart...God gives you a moment, an hour, or even a day, to see those things are there.
I thank God for those moments, hours and days. Because of them, I am reminded of how good God is, and in them, I am given the strength to keep on keeping on.