26 October 2012

Grateful for Today

After yesterday, I feel the need to focus on the good. Yesterday was a test of my parenting-mojo, myability to stick to my guns and stay calm in the face of pressure... today is a brand new day.

Today the sun is shining, the washing machine is spinning and I am due at gymnastics with Scrag in thirty minutes.

Today is a clean slate. No mistakes have been made yet, and yesterday's ones have been wiped clean.

When I tucked my errant child in bed last night I reminded him that he was forgiven, and tomorrow would be a fresh start.

I am eternally grateful for the power of forgiveness and the miracle of fresh starts.
How awful would it be to wake up knowing you had messed up the previous day and would be dragging yesterday's mistakes with you into today? How de-motivating to know that when you walk into the kitchen all eyes would turn to you and they would be full of reproof, blame and judgement.

One of my favourite verses is: "His Mercies are new every morning..."
How grateful am I that it is MERCY which is new every morning, not judgement. Not blame or recrimination. Every day we receive a freshly brewed batch of beautiful powerful cleansing freeing mercy.

So today began fresh.
Lessons had been learnt. Apologies had been given. Restorative justice implemented, recompense made.
I had collapsed on the couch, exhausted, watched a bit of Joyce Meyer (I was craving some soul food) and then limped off to bed by 9pm.

The sun woke up smiling and so did we. A new day.

So sweet to see Little Sister wearing the Liverpool top Big Brother had bequeathed to her as part of his saying sorry. When she came out wearing it, looking so cute, he went a step further and offered her one of his treasured "flat caps" to complete the ensemble. (Not to keep of course, just to wear.)

With light hearts we drove up to school, prayed a blessing, waved goodbye.

This is how good it feels to stay strong. To know I can follow through, not give in, be the adult, set a strong boundary.

I've always been the "soft" parent. Maybe too soft at times. But as I said to a friend recently, I would rather err on the side of softness than harshness. Better too much love than too many rules, right?
However, no matter how my marshmallow nature may lead me to cave in, my children still need limits, boundaries and consistency.
It's not just up to their dad to be the Bad Cop. I need to step up too.

My kids will probably push me harder to see if I really mean it, to see where the cave-in point is, because in the past it didn't take much before I would crack and do anything "for peace".
But my kids need the security of dependable boundaries. They need to know that no means no and a timer goes off for a reason. And having a hissy fit will not get them what they want. And if they trash their room they will have to clean it up. And if they don't follow they rules there will be consequences.

This was the battle I waged last night. And I won.
I stuck to my guns, I drew a line in the sand, and now everybody knows where the line is.
Exhausting, but worth it.
And now, it's a new day. A day where we have started fresh, forgiven. A little older and hopefully a little wiser too.

I am so grateful for Today.


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