I can’t count the number of mutterings under our breath, whispers, and texts between my husband and I referring to our beloved children as assholes. It’s kind of our thing. And to be clear, it’s not a term of endearment. And to further clarify, I would drop dead of a guilty broken heart if my children ever heard these utterances.
The frequency of these a-bombs has been on the rise lately at our house, as is “the mom look.” You know, that moment where she’s silent with that “don’t test me” look on her face? To those of you inexperienced with children, Mom (or any caretaker) is actually delivering an inner monologue during that moment of silence that goes something like this: “It’s a good thing I love you so much because you are being such an asshole. [deep breath] Now choose your words carefully, Mom. Don’t do or say anything you’ll regret or that could get you arrested. [another deep breath] Now think of something profound to say that will help shape him into a respectful, productive person.”
Don’t judge. Maybe you haven’t vocalized it yourself, but anyone who can honestly admit they’ve never even thought of their children (or someone else’s) as total jerks is a living saint. If you fall into this category, please contact me immediately because I would love for you to come to my house so I can 1) put you to the test, and 2) have you pray over our family and anoint us with oil.
Seriously. Children are born totally egotistical with NO social skills whatsoever. We all started out that way! We were all assholes once; some of us still are. And that is my biggest fear: to raise children who remain assholes for the rest of their lives. I see signs that mine are going to be OK because although some days are worse than others, their assholey moments are peppered in throughout times of great compassion, respect, & generosity. I know those characteristics are in their cores. Their hearts are beautiful and good. But their brains haven’t caught up yet. They’re keeping us on our toes, reminding us they still need us to teach them how not to grow up to be Donald Trump. (OOOoooo! Ding, ding! That’s 5,000 points for me!)
Whew. Parenting is hard.
Lord, please grant me the patience to deal with my children in a respectful and mature manner, the wisdom to know how to raise them well, and the will to stop calling them names behind their backs. Amen.