Mama Mama Melodrama (Parenting With Grace)
I work on the same campus where my children go to school. This brings both joy and trials alike. On the one hand, there are hugs and kisses waiting for me if I head out at lunchtime or recess. On the other, I am always on the front lines when things go sideways. The boys go to afternoon extended care just long enough to do their homework and get really dirty; then we all troop home so the second half of my work day can begin.
The other day I was sitting at my desk when my little came snuffling up to my desk. He had crushed a finger on the playground. It was late in the day; no one was in the office up front and technically, he’s not supposed to slip down the all to see mommy unless it’s an emergency. They really do try to maintain a level of professionalism in that they don’t page me unless they would have called me at home anyway. But the boys slip through our net, at times.
His hand was curled into a fist, clearly not broken. His palms so dirty it was hard to see that there was a little boy underneath all that grime. Tears streaked his dusty face.
I could have shooed him back up front to let the school secretaries “deal” with it. Let them fetch the curative wonders of every playground: the all-healing, all-comforting ice pack and wet paper towel. I could have told him to follow the rules. But it was the end of the day, and I knew this was mama-drama.
Mama Drama: adj. That theatrical dose of culpability our children are born with, performed so adroitly when mama is there to witness, thus tugging our maternal heart-strings and drenching us in guilt.
But, I didn’t let on. I held those filthy hands in mine and led him up to the sink for a wash and an ice pack. I kissed his flushed cheeks and with that he was content to go back outside and play, giggling over my half-hearted disdain at the state of his grubby uniform.
This is the essence of grace – finding that balance of love and discipline, firm and gentle.
How often have I come to my Abba with an overstatement of need? My own little melodrama that seems so big in the moment, so insignificant later. I look over the scribbled bits of urgent prayer I keep in a box by my bed – each in its own time so painful, so raw, and so real.
But later, as I read them, I see that they were not large, not considerable. My own little dramas, fervently thrust at Him in the moment, ever graciously received.
He never turns me away. He never laughs. He knows what to provide and when to provide it, equal measures of coaxing and prodding, gently leading me through my small valleys and canyons to the other side. A place where I always find wisdom waiting, where I can look back and see a pathway through each wilderness, a pathway called grace.