our hearts are restless…
too rich for my blood was that beef bourguignon and cheesy oregano, basil, garlic bread. it’s after 12 o’clock and i still can’t sleep. rich food does that to me sometimes. i forget that i don’t have a gallbladder anymore.
my feet are cold so i get up and put socks on. better. but i am still restless.
i get up and get a rosary. my big boy’s padre pio rosary. it is so beautiful and he is not here so it makes me think of him. i’ve yet to stay awake in bed and pray whole rosary without falling asleep. the familiar prayers always lull me to sleep. but wait. fingering the rosary i am reminded of a crack on one of my fingers. raw from doing so many dishes without gloves maybe i need to put some neosporin and a band-aid on. raw and chapped fingers sure hurt.
no. really it is my heart that hurts. from the heated exchange of words between me and my littlest son this evening.
“if i had a million dollars i’d buy a new mama”, he tells me fresh out of a warm bath. he’s covered in a soft. green towel. feet planted on a clean white rug. his wet curls glistening as little drops of water hang delicately from the tips.
little drops of water begin to form in my eyes. my vision becomes blurry. i am too tired for this. i am crying.
how dare he.
now i am seeing red.
what hurtful words.
“i’d buy diego’s mama.” (my super sweet, but waaaay too over-indulgent sister-in-law).
angry. i dress him because it’s cold. i don’t want to but i clip his fingernails. clean out his ears and blow dry his hair. then i send him to bed without love. no kisses. no good-nite. the sun went down on my anger.
the middles, my pet name for my 10 and 12-year-old, try to figure out why he said it. at first i don’t really care why. what’s done is done.
a little later we figure it is because i didn’t let him play xbox today.
i had my reasons. that book i am reading on boys being one of them. a chapter on electronic matters really bothered me as i pondered all of the “noise” children today are bombarded with. ipods. t.v. video games. etc. and like a naughty child i know i’ve let some things slip.
i haven’t been as vigilant as i once was. part of it is because 3 out of 4 of my kids are 10 and over. the bigger they get the louder they are. and the tug of the world is so strong. and sometimes i want a break too. and, well, frankly those are just excuses for my own poor judgement.
and then there was this: that mindless interaction with an electronic box meant enough to my 5 year-old that he would say something so hurtful to me.
yet how many times have i done the same thing. sshhh! i am checking emails. or looking at blogs. or reading the news.
how many times do i let interaction with an electronic box interfere with the ones i love?
managing time online is such a tricky thing.
i rarely watch t.v. i don’t facebook or twitter. i try to be so careful.
so i retreated to a quiet spot on the couch and after some meditative prayer God spoke to me the way He usually does. very simply. yet oh so clearly.
“take courage! do not be afraid!” especially cherish firm trust in God’s love…..God’s grace awaits you, admonishing you incessantly to keep up a courageous spirit about your standing with Him…..if one be only submissive to the Divine guidance…..Fr. Tauler ~1361~magnificat meditation of the day, today, January 6, 2010.
i usually read this in the morning. but i was too busy. but if i had it wouldn’t have meant the same to me as it did tonight.
when my heart was restless.
so i surrender. and i am off to bed. to rest in HIM Who did not send me away without love.
i’ll deal with that naughty boy tomorrow. when i am stronger.
and maybe i’ll give him just a little kiss.
raising children today really is a battle ladies. and we so need to remember to put on the armor of GOD.
ps. the words on the back of the crucifix of that rosary i mentioned: Behold this heart which has so loved men/Father forgive them.
those words are ringing in my ears……
So beautiful and painfully familiar. The dreaded black box, the control over my ds’s affections, the angry words and “good nites!” without adequate snuggling. My father bought the kids a Wii for Christmas. They are thrilled. “I never thought we would have something like that at OUR house. It’s something you play at other people’s houses.” This said without rancor by my dd. This box is white. I will still have to limit it and remember that regardless of the outcome I mustn’t limit my love. I can take away ‘screen time’ but not kisses. Privileges but not compassion. Motherhood is a daily battle. I have to remember who the enemy is and is not. I don’t know if you read this post (or her wonderful blog), but I thought this was apropos http://www.conversiondiary.com/2009/12/you-pray-before-battle.html !
Oh, Regan. God bless you. Those times when our children say those things to us are so hard. I don’t think the little ones even realize how hurtful they can be. I think you handled it well by waiting until the morning, when you are less upset. And I admire how you prayed through it and even found a way to tie it back to things you might do that are similar. Very brave. The dawn brings a new day! May yours be filled with great blessings.
Oh, Regan, what a heartfelt, wonderful post. I’m sure we can all relate. My 5 year old told me she wanted to “go to an orphanage” when I broke my leg, because she wanted “a mama without a broken leg” (she was 4 at the time) But, that’s when I say “OK, let’s see, if you do that, the new mama will probably make you eat all those things you do not like to eat, and, etc…..” Then it makes her stop and think, Oh, right….
Anyway, My guess is a few days without the x-box and a few days with mama, would totally change his mind!
What you said is so true, about the computer thing, I do the same thing you do, only blogs and emails, NO facebook or twitter, but I STILL end up saying “not now” or “later” or “Quiet, I’m on the computer now!”
This is a great post to really take pause and think about our days and our own noise.
God bless you, Regan, give that naughty little boy, lots of big kisses today!!
Ah, Regan, there is something good that comes of this electronic box: we “meet” women geographically separated from ourselves, but unified by common experience or a common spirit. Furthermore, I see how it has honed your already admirable writing skills. You put thoughts and feelings into words so well.
It hurts less these days to hear, “I hate you!” (I like your son’s “I’d trade you in”…a bit gentler, that!). I’ve heard it a few times now. The first was like a dagger. But it almost always comes when our wills are in conflict, and I know that it is the most powerful way a young child can express his anger, and nothing more.
I, too, have trouble with the computer and kids. I am trying to let them use it more for school (educational games, math drills and such), so that they can think of it as a tool, and not a form of entertainment. Still, as with your little guy, we have a lot of heated moments with the computer at the center of it. I haven’t given in to xbox or nintendo or whatever the thing is these days, largely because there is no money in the budget for such things. And secondly because I know that the kids would be fighting over it every free moment.
We have to admit that we adults don’t like our own desires thwarted, either!
God bless you. Thanks for another wonderful, introspective post.
Your post touched me with your tender and raw truthful emotion. Not every beginning to a new year feels superb and blissful as many would have a mother believe. With much idle time over the holidays, I also found one son to have too many screen temptations, so defining parameters naturally allowed me to become unpopular with him. Truth be told, a mother’s duty is not to be popular with her children, but still, there are times when all becomes just very difficult with painful words being flung about over a game system of all things.
God bless you and yours Ragan. If it’s any consolation, I’ve been there and done that with six others above my own younger son, and all remembered the tough times they chose to inflict hurt towards their mothers, apologies have followed, or at the very least, they now have their own children and know the feeling. 🙂
Sending you big hugs today and praying you find blessings galore in simple things to lick your wounds. This too shall pass…
I agree with Nadja….this little time on the blog world reminds me that I am not the only person “like us” out there.
Kids will be kids. Mothers will be mothers. We are human.
I have 3 boys and they love those games. They can only play their DS in the car and their computer games on “Friday Fun” when school is done. 1/2 hr to 1hr max.
when kids act like that just do not take it too personally.
Especially when they become teen-agers it can get worse.
James Stenson has some really good books out there also…..since you are up reading on the raising kids stuff.
Prayers to you my friend.
Absolutely well said.
I am finding that I have also been a few times in your shoes in like with my own children. I’m blogging . . . I’m reading . . . leave me be a minute! Ask your dad, dernit, I’m not the only decision maker for you in this house . . . etc..
But, it’s only now and again that I respond so basely. Most of the time, I happily put down the book, sign off the PC, etc. and I’m so there for them.
The older they get, they see it.
Anyhoo, I am on FB, but I still.don’t.get.it. It’s BORING as Hades. I do not see what people see in it. I stay on to see if it will get interesting. But, here’s what I think about it: it does create the connections, if you want them, but they are not as good as picking up the phone or sending a letter (even if by email) – something more personal, meant just for you (no one else). Know what I mean? Trust me, you are not missing much of anything.
Time is better spent (even if you call it wasting time) praying.
Just so it’s clear: I don’t believe prayer is a waste of time!
Beautiful, Regan…as always.
We are a sisterhood of sufferers in this grand vocation called motherhood. Often I’ve pondered those words “in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children.” So many have interpreted these words as prophecy of physical pain…pregnancy and childbirth. As I’ve raised children over the past nearly 30 years (my goodness…has it really been that long? I still have very, very young ones!) I’ve learned that those words have more to do with loving them, training them, being wounded by them and for them. Mothers bear far more scars upon their hearts than their bodies.
And yet….we must take courage! “Be not afraid” should be the standard under which every mother resides. Our redemption will never lie within the realm of popularity and ease. It is that which is hard, the truth that must be spoken, remaining a “constant” for our children…that is our strength and by far the greatest challenge. And you know it well…
One day…one day, my dear one…they will see your heart, its one desire for their happiness in heaven and they will “rise up and call you blessed.”
May you live to hear it! I’m still waiting, but trusting the Lord and this promise:
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is OLD, he will not depart from it.”
Thank you for sharing your heart….
You are just so….sumptious! Your blog and photos and words just a treat to my senses.
Thank you for being this…for being here…for sharing.