Monday, June 22, 2009
Sometimes, as a parent, it feels as though I'm doing so much wrong. Earlier today I was watching Andrew, and he woke up from a nap with a fever of nearly 105 degrees. I called his mom and then tried to reduce his fever by giving him some Tylenol and a sponge bath (which he hated, poor baby!) I was so tied up with Andrew and worried about his fever that my own kids were just on their own for a while. During that short amount of time, Isaiah dumped paint on the kitchen floor and Melora flushed a pair of my earrings down the toilet. I didn't even know Melora was able to flush the toilet!
After Andrew's mom had picked him up and I had put my kids down for their naps and mopped the kitchen floor, I sat on the couch and just stared ahead of me. Surely I could have handled that better. Most moms would have handled it better; wouldn't pretty-much anything be better than that? But my kids are safe...and loved...and blessed. So if I don't have that particular pair of earrings (that I hardly wear anyway) and if my kitchen floor is a little more blue than before (under all the footprints and food spills) I guess the trade works out alright.
Other times, I feel that as a parent I must be doing something right. I was reading Isaiah his bedtime stories, and we decided to read The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. We had already read the part about how the tree loved a little boy and let him eat her apples and swing on her branches and rest in her shade. Then the boy stayed away for a long time, and when he came back he said he was too big to climb and play...
"I want to buy things and have fun.
I want some money.
Can you give me some money?"
"I'm sorry," said the tree, "but I have no money.
I have only leaves and apples.
Take my apples, Boy, and sell them
in the city. Then you will have money
and you will be happy."
And so the boy climbed up the tree
and gathered her apples
and carried them away...
"Why did the boy carry away the tree's apples?"
"Well, he wanted to trade them for some money, because he thought money would make him happy."
"Did the money make him happy?"
"No, baby. I don't think so. When you get some money, you just use it to buy stuff and then it's all gone."
"Oh. So money doesn't make you happy."
"That's right, baby."
Isaiah paused and considered,
"But apples do."