Monday, March 12, 2012

That's Right, I Speak Superhero...And I'm Not Afraid to Use It

Last week, when it was time to start schoolwork for the day, Jack was running around our basement/homeschool room with Tinker Toys stuck in the wrists of his shirts and growling. Now, he's a boy and he's five so I wasn't all that shocked. Actually, I've encountered worse creations from the mind of this imaginative and surprisingly mechanical little man. Claws and growling isn't so bad.

Me: Ok, Jack, time for schoolwork.

Jack: I'm Wolverine! (Hop, skip (in a manly, superhero way), leap, growl and strike a menacing pose).

And just in case you don't have superhero fans in your home here's Wolverine:

Me: Well, even Wolverine needs to learn how to read. How else could he learn all the X-Men rules? And he can't track down Magneto if he can't read the street signs.

Jack: (deep sigh, that clearly communicates my total failure to convince him that superheroes are both tough and literate). Mommy, I'm not really Wolverine. I'm just pretending.

Me: Oh, well then you definitely have to learn to read since you don't have that whole superhero thing to fall back on.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Holy Spirit Duct Tape

I have a long standing joke with a few of the ladies at my church about the importance of Holy Spirit duct tape. It's that oh-so necessary moment when you desperately want to say something, but God in His great mercy reaches down and slaps His hand over your mouth to keep you from blurting out the potentially hurtful, damaging or mean words that really, REALLY want to be said. Holy Spirit duct tape.

It's even Scriptural. True, it doesn't say duct tape, but it's pretty close. Here it is:

"Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips." Ps. 141:3

Sometimes the words we bite back deserve to be said. We might be totally, 100% right and absolutely justified in letting fly a big, giant "I told you so!" (Because we probably did tell them so). But those are the moments when we need Holy Spirit duct tape the most. When we have every right to point out someone else's flaws, foolishness, utter wrongness and put up a big neon sign advertising our brilliance, expertise and utter rightness.

Or when we're so mad, irritated and just plain fed up with someone that the defensive, hurtful or retaliatory words are practically begging to be given free reign. And we'd feel better. If we could just vent. If we could just give that person a piece of our mind so that we know that they know how annoyed we are...or how right we are (and by extension how wrong they are). If we could just express that then we'd feel so much better.

And the other person would feel so much worse.

Holy Spirit duct tape.

How many times has God had the right to point out our flaws, our foolishness and our utter wrongness? Who has more right than He to give us a piece of His perfect mind? But instead of reminding us of our failures and our mistakes, God gives us grace. He doesn't tell us that we're wrong, He tells us that we're loved.

So if God speaks with love, kindness and mercy to us, how can we do any less? Even if we're right. Even if we've been wronged. Even if we have every earthly right to put someone else in their place. Even then, we should look for, pray for and wait for...Holy Spirit duct tape.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

My Priorities May Be All Out of Whack

We're having a very strange winter. 70 degrees one day, snowing the next. It confuses me. And makes it very hard to get dressed in the morning. looks sunny, but there might be snow in the forecast. Or hail. Or giant blobs of Rice Krispie Treats. See, what I mean? It's hard to plan for both sunshine and the potential of falling sugary treats.

This week we had snow on Monday. If you're from someplace where it regularly snows then we didn't get much snow. If, like me, you're from Southern was the end of the world. And how did my adorable children greet me on the morning of the end of the world? By screaming at the top of their lungs, "it's snowing!!!!!!!!" And then there was some traditional kid-tribe snow dance of joy followed by hands and noses smushed against the windows.

And what did I say in the face of this boundless joy and glee? "Time for schoolwork!"

Yep. That's right. No snow days here. (Insert villainous theme music here).

Now, in all fairness the kidlets did get to go outside and romp in the snowy snowness later that day. After their schoolwork was done.

But here's where I think my priorities may be just slightly misaligned. Two days later I declared it a school-free day. Gasp! I know. So why had I suddenly transformed from the merciless mommy who makes them do schoolwork while staring longingly out the window at the falling snow to some kick back mom who cancels school? Well, I'll tell you. Major Dad was home from work and decided to rearrange our office/library/cluttered room of doom. So in order to properly take advantage of our slave labor....uh, wait...I mean in order to effectively use the cheerful and completely voluntary assistance of our munchkins, I cancelled school.

So, no cancelling school for possibly-the-end-of-the-world-snow days, but I'm perfectly fine with closing down the homeschool for Mary Poppins style cleaning days?

Yep. Works for me.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Don't Hit Someone on the Head with Your Happy Place

My kids can get wound up. Like spinning top of death wound up. And when they get wound up, there is likely to be a cacophony of screeching, laughter, squeals and the occasional outburst of righteous indignation.

Just a few days ago the screeching, squealing chaos was in full force. There was racing, tagging, throwing and dodging involved in some strange game that used a combination of balls, Legos and Play-Doh. I have no idea what the object of the game was, how it was played or who made it up, but I do know that it was an intense competition. Finally, the noise level hit whatever decibel triggers the parent twitch reflex and Major Dad put a stop to the game. Or so he thought.

He separated the kids and banished them each to their own bean bag. They ended up sitting directly across from each other, each one planted on a bean bag and giving the other a Clint Eastwood showdown stare. Which led to giggles. Which led to snickers. Which led to Jack giving in to his inner warrior, letting loose with a blood curdling mix of medieval war cry and five year old laughter, grabbing his bean bag and running straight for Ella.

Major Dad, using some quick military take down honed by years of combat training, intercepted Jack and the bean bag and said (with a completely straight face) "Jack! You don't hit someone with your happy place."

Then he paused, looked at me with a slightly befuddled expression and said, "did I actually just say that?"

Me: "Welcome to my world. Want some chocolate?"