My son is, well, my son. I remember once being told as a teenager that I was a "natural born leader". It seems my son has taken my "natural born leader" genes that got mixed together with his daddy's strong leadership skills...and become the only thing that can come from that mixture...a leader.
Kale is strong willed. He is a fighter. He is stubborn. He is persistent. He is always thinking ahead. He wants things his way (who doesn't?) and is relentless about that fact. He wants to be in control. He often brings his strong willed, stubborn, fighter, persistent mommy to her knees. Sometimes his daddy gives up before Kale ever gets started. There comes a time, when as a parent, these little traits stop being cute and start being a mixture of humbling and exhausting. We are past that point. Or, at least we were.
I have been trying to work with Kale on not being so loud (Kale won't need a megaphone to be heard...ever!), not throwing fits to get his way (and I am working on not giving in), being respectful, obeying, and all those other skills and behaviors that result in a good balance between parents and children. I said we are working on it...and I know its going to take a while...oh, say maybe about 20 years.
A few Saturdays ago, my mom and I had taken the kids to Chick-fil-A so Kale could burn off some energy in the play area while Scout and I had a late breakfast. Just after we arrived, a child made a mess in the floor. It was a gross mess. I was trying to keep Kale either in the booth or in the play area to keep him from stepping in the mess (EW!) or slipping in the freshly mopped area. As we were in the booth, Kale gave some kind of command or direction...either to me or the woman mopping, I don't remember which. I immediately started correcting him. Kale, you don't talk to adults that way. Before I could make it to the next sentence, God spoke to me through the woman who was mopping. I don't really remember if her words were "he is going to be a leader" or "he has leadership skills". I was too flabbergasted by the realization. The woman moved on with her mopping and I tried to pick my jaw up off the table. I am pretty sure my mom laughed at me. As a parent, I was failing to see the strength my son was showing because all I could see was frustration, disrespect, and a kid who never keeps his mouth shut. I am constantly reminded that I am raising a mini-me. Kale is me in male form. In case I needed reassurance of that fact, I heard Kale's daddy say this last night in a frustrated voice: You are SUCH your mother's son.
Thank you God for reminding me of the leader my son has the capacity to be. Please help me remember to help him use in a positive manner the traits you have given him. Help me remember that the same traits that are frustrating to experience as a parent from your child are the same traits that will help them become the great individual God created them to be. (Geesh, my mom could write about three books on that one!)
God shows up all the time in our lives. For me, He showed up a few Saturdays ago in the form of a lady who was mopping and made a comment that may have forever changed the way I look at my son's "frustrating behaviors and traits".