The theater was fairly quiet as we all gathered into our seats. No one coming really knew what to expect. We were here for many different reasons. Perhaps because all of us want to be assured simply that “we are not alone.” As I stood holding baby boy waiting for the usual movie-time treats to arrive I reflected on what had come before.
This day hadn’t gone quite as planned. First of all things had been so busy that a shower hadn’t happened until much later than I desired. The boys were a bit whiney and didn’t really care to take their naps. Which is never exciting for mama, but especially on the days when that nap time is so needed. Finally nap time had come. I just need 10 minutes to myself I thought. But of course then came a phone call I couldn’t turn away followed by baby boy waking up needing mama again and really leaving me no options of time to prepare or relax. But then Daddy came home and Mama hightailed it into the shower. (I have never been one of those girls who spends hours getting ready for a date, but even so only having 15-20 minutes makes me a little sad.)
When I returned from my shower I found the oldest boy snuggled up with his daddy watching a show. And then came the dilemma, do we wake up middle boy since it is the end of nap-time or do we let him sleep longer since he fell asleep so late. It was decided that he should continue to sleep until Mama was ready. Middle brother can be the sweetest angel or the scariest monster depending on his mood. Because he likes things a certain way and it isn’t always a way that makes sense to the rest of us sometimes doing the simple things with him can be so time-consuming. And today was not destined to be any different.
Since my mom had agreed to watch the boys for this date it was not such an urgency to have the boys just so before we left. A diaper did need to be changed though. So, with only 5 minutes before we were to leave we began the process. This was not enough time and I knew it.
We are going through what I hope is a phase with middle brother that is waging war on my heart. Before I had kids I had no idea what a strong-willed child was. And once I had firstborn I still didn’t know. I assumed that strong-willed children were firstborn children. And then our firstborn was so relatively easy that I believed we’d dodged the bullet. Oh, how wrong I was. Firstborn arrived on his due date of all things which I guess is pretty rare. As a little one he was mostly compliant and his desire to help and please was and is a delight to me. Now don’t get me wrong, he is far from perfect. We go through things with him all the time and now that he has two other brothers he doesn’t get everything he wants and there can be issues with that. Overall though he is easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy as he is willing to bend in the long run.
Mr. Number 2 is anything but easy. His name means Fair Warrior and he certainly is. It often seems like most things he does comes with a war. He carries this picture in his mind of how things should be and to deviate from that path would bring about the end of the world as he knows it. Oh, how I wish I could see that picture. It would make life so much smoother, because I honestly cannot understand why things must be just so sometimes. I really don’t even know if strong will is strong enough to describe him. I so don’t want to look at everything I do with this boy as being a battle and that is a prayer I often pray – that God would help me to see things in another way. I know God has great things for this boy – the boy who can charm the skin off a snake and then turn around and eat it for dinner.
Back to the story – So, we began mission diaper change. It was not what he wanted to do at that moment. (I bend to things with him when I can, but children also need to learn that they cannot always get their way.) You would have thought that all hell had broken loose the way he lost it. He certainly wasn’t holding back. There was kicking and screaming and hitting and yelling and crying to the point of coughing and the sounds of throwing up that by a miracle he managed to keep inside. When this happens it really breaks me. I want to hold my baby and give him everything he wants. I want to understand where the disconnect is coming from so I can soothe the upset and make everything alright again. In the same moment sometimes I just want to throw him out the window. I hate that I feel that way. I love him so much, but sometimes when he hurts me I am really hurt and the negative side of me has a desire to react. And in fact this night I did react, not with physical actions, but with words. I spoke words over my son that I will never get back. I have though them before, but I have never spoken them. I called him a brat. Oh, I would give anything to take that word back. My children are not brats. I hate describing them in any negative way especially to them. My hearts’ desire is to only speak life over my children and here I said that. That was the end of it for me. I was lost for a time. My mom said to just go, she would handle him. I didn’t want to leave. I didn’t want to make anyone have to deal with that and I didn’t want to leave my little boy in the place that we were at. But, we were running late (according to my time…which is a different clock then my husband runs on, but that’s another story) and we had to go. I held this weeping boy (who by the way hadn’t even heard the words I’d said he was yelling so loud) and told him I loved him and would see him later.
We got into the car with #3 who was pretty upset from all the noise and was adding his own chorus to our night. I did not want to go. I wasn’t in the mood to be happy and try to pretend everything was alright. We almost turned back, but husband wanted to go so bad and it has been months and months since we saw a movie that I was torn in wanting to go for him. Plus, we weren’t going to see just any old movie. This was a live event that we wouldn’t have the opportunity to see again in the theater…at least at this time. (I really hope that changes, but more to come on that.)
As we pulled into the movie theater parking lot there was a lot of wisdom to be seen. I kept looking for people our age, hoping that maybe there are others like us. Truth be told it was a movie playing at 5:30 and most of my working friends aren’t even home from work by that time so I am not that surprised there were so few of us. (I did see a few more come into the room right before things started.) Fortunately the theater opened a second screen or we would have been out of luck as the movie was sold out even before this day. And here we are back to where I started this story and I haven’t gotten to the good stuff yet, but this post is long. Hundreds of words longer than I aim for. So, I will edit the title and this will be part one of a story I am itching to tell you. I hope you will join me again to hear about one of the most amazing experiences of my life.