I was in the major dumps.
Trick or Treat was coming and we were all ready.
Except all my plans were falling apart.
Max went to a friends house.
Reagan begged to go door to door with a classmate.
The girls didn’t even seem interested.
So we didn’t go.
And I sulked and took the girls to my mom’s to get their goodie bags.
As we were getting ready for bed, I was scrolling Facebook and I came across this picture a friend of mine posted.
Our oldest kids are in the same grade and when I saw it I started feeling even more sorry for myself.
“Why didn’t I make Max and Reagan stay home?”
“Why isn’t family a priority to my kids?”
“Are we THAT bad?!”
“Jason and I are going to be 80 years old and our kids will be busy with their own lives and say, “Mom and dad who?”
“I should have done what the Scotts did. This is just the beginning.”
Poor pitiful me…
Later that week I was in Kroger talking to my friend on the phone recounting my sob story about how no one wanted to do anything together, we were all split apart and no one but me seemed to care.
I mean, for God’s sake, my family is falling apart and I’m the only one who cares!
My friend tried to talk me off the ledge, as I’m rolling through the aisles of the store, literally crying.
It wasn’t even the thought that “oh my babies are growing up and are too old for Halloween.”
It was the fact that they were not choosing their family.
Maybe I was hormonal. Whatever. I took it hard.
My friend said, “Listen. These small people are not going to choose “family time.” They are going to choose what they want because they are selfish little bastards.”
Insert snotty, tear-filled belly laugh in aisle 13…
She continued, “you’re the mom, which means you’re the boss. They don’t have to like it, but they have to do it. You are going to have to make them make memories because they are kids and they don’t get a choice.”
So from then on out, we implemented Family Date Nights.
Rules of Family Date Night:
—Everyone gets a turn to choose what we are doing.
—Everyone must be physically in attendance.
—You don’t have to like it, but you have to do it
It was difficult at first.
Lots of wailing and moaning and gnashing of teeth.
It was like being in the Book of Revelation…
“This is stupid.”
“I don’t want to watch this movie.”
“Do I have to come?”
“NO, YOU GET TO COME! NOW SHUT UP AND GET IN THE CAR!”
Who wants ice cream!?
A few weeks pass by and low and behold, my teenager asks me one Friday night, “Are we having Family Date Night tonight or tomorrow night.”
I totally played it cool so not to draw too much attention to the fact that our indoctrination MAY BE WORKING!
“Oh yeah, gosh we could do either night I suppose. Hmph, I didn’t even realize it was already Friday….”
So thank you Jamie for choosing family time for your girl and making her stay home.
And thank you Tara for calling my kids bastards and for giving me the shot in the arm that I needed. Even if I did snot and cry.
These little blessings from God are ours.
God’s given you and me the anointing to care for the very children we have in our care.
The good, the bad and the ugly…
YOU are the one who is able to do it.
That’s why other’s opinions on your parenting style don’t mean jack…
That’s also why the lies the enemy whispers to you don’t mean jack crap.
Remember, he is the master of stealing, killing and destroying you.
He will find the tiniest crack in your heart and mind and blow it up using any means necessary to chip away at you.
To steal your joy with your family.
To kill your confidence in yourself and God.
To destroy the lightning fast, precious time that you do have with these people you live with.
Let’s not give one more nanosecond to him.
He deserves nothing.
It’s a whole lot of fun mixed in with pockets of misery and suffering. I kid.
Along with teaching them to walk and eat and tie their shoes, I’ve realized that I’m going to have to teach them to be part of a family.
That family is important and we make important things a priority.
Let’s face it, one day we are going to need them to change our colostomy bag or take us grocery shopping.
Or at least pay for someone to do it for us.
So until then, let’s have fun
torturing them making memories.
I’m a book-shelving, former tap dancer, wanna be writer, singer,
and banjo player, mother of 4, wife of 1, follower of Christ,
walking in the shadow of the Proverbs 31 woman
and redeemed by the grace and love of an Almighty God…
just living the dream.