I laughed. She seems to me to be a wonderful mom; always chipper, ever resourceful. But she continued.
"I loaded the kids in the car to go to ballet, backed the car out of the garage, and was a quarter of a mile down the road when Molly asked 'Mom, where's Isaac?'"
Isaac is her four-year-old. "He's not in the car?" She asked. "No."
"I know what you're thinking," she said to me. "You're thinking, 'Oh, no! Poor Isaac, scared at home alone.' But I knew he was fine. If he was in the house, he'd have already turned on the TV and gotten himself some cereal. And if he were outside, he'd just wander over to the neighbors' and be perfectly happy there."
"So I was just looking in my rear-view mirror to make sure it was safe to slow down and make a u-turn, when I saw him. There was Isaac. Standing on the rear bumper, holding on to the wiper on the back of the van - just his forehead and eyes visible in the window."
"Oh no!" I exclaimed.
"I had to fight the urge to slam on the brakes. I slowed the car to a stop at the side of the road, and ran back to get him. 'Isaac, honey' I said 'Why didn't you tell me that you were on the car?' And he said, 'I was yelling for you, Mommy, but you didn't hear me.'"
"Since then I have what if'd myself to death. 'What if I had been on the freeway?' 'What if he'd fallen off?' But the thing that really gets me, is that I didn't see him when I backed out the driveway!"
"Wow," was all I could say to my cousin. What a story. She said that her mom had told her she was too busy, and needed to do less.
"But, that's the thing - I wasn't even in a hurry. We were early. We weren't rushed. I truly thought he was in the car."
I know that as a mom, I've had days like that. Days when everything was going well, and then, well, oops. My cousin told me to tell my friends that story whenever they had a bad day and thought they were a bad mom. She knew it would make them feel better.
So, I've told that story many times, to many friends. And Jor Man had overheard me tell it. So, one day, Jor Man said, "Mom, you know the 'Bad Mom' story you tell?"
"Well, could you tell me a Good Mom story?" He asked.
Hmmm. A good mom story. I didn't have one of those. I really had to think about it. After several days, I remembered a story a friend had told me.
This particular friend is also an amazing mom. She has eight children whom she homeschools. She has taught me so much about Jesus, and parenting. I really am in awe of her.
So I remember being more than a little surprised when she told me about a time when her first child was a few months old. He wasn't a good sleeper. In fact, she was really exhausted. One night, she had walked the halls with him multiple times, and had finally just gotten him back to sleep. She transferred him ever so carefully to his crib and silently, slowly backed out of the door.
She was almost to her room when he cried out again. This time, instead of running to his side, she broke down and cried. She sat down at the top of the stairs and wept, crying out to God.
|Beauty Mom and Sher Bear on the day she was born.|
And she heard God say, "You're right. You can't do this. But I can."
Baby still cried in the background. She sat weeping. And again God spoke.
"I want to go in and be with him. May I borrow your legs? You don't have to want to be there, or care. But I want to borrow you legs and go in and be with him."
So my friend got up, in God's strength, and walked back into the room, standing by the crying child. After a minute, God said "I want to love this boy. May I borrow your arms?" And she picked him up.
My friend tells me that is how she parented from then on - not from her own strength, but from God's love for her kids.
So I told Jor Man the story - of the good mom who relied on God to love her kids. He was quiet for a while. And then Jor Man said, "That's a good story, Mom. You should try that sometime."
"I do, Jor Man. I do."
Wish you were here!