**This will be Carrie’s last post with us, as she prepares to welcome a new baby. Congratulations, Carrie! We’ll miss you!**
I asked my four-year-old son to wait. As soon as I was done brushing his teeth he ran off. My initial response was one of frustration. Didn’t he just hear me tell him to wait? Why was he purposely choosing to disobey?
Before I could voice my frustration, I asked him just one question. “Do you know what wait means?”
And in that moment I realized I had assumed he knew the meaning of what I had said when I had never taken the time to explain it to him. So I took a few moments to explain to him what “wait” means and then we continued on with our bedtime routine.
So often similar situations play out in our home. I forget he’s only four and I expect him to behave in a more mature way or to know some piece of information that I haven’t taught him yet. The gravity of what it means to be a parent is sinking in. It’s not just teaching my children to read or to potty train or to teach them not to run in the street.
It’s teaching them the meanings of words, how to be loving and respectful of other people and, most importantly, about God. So many of the truly important lessons my sons need to learn require intentional and purposeful time. They learn a lot through observing me and seeing how I handle situations. It’s a sobering reminder that I’m their teacher all the time! There’s never a break. They are constantly watching and mirroring my actions.
Just as I need to give my sons grace when they choose a less than admirable course of action (and then take the time to teach them the proper response!), so I need God’s grace in this journey of parenting. Mothering is a 24/7 job. I make mistakes. But it’s through His grace and mercy that the mistakes I make can be redeemed.