Merry Heart - Phone Home!

A sense of humor is indispensable for a mom of a large family. Unfortunately, somehow mine turned up A.W.O.L.yesterday when I needed it. Chronic lack of sleep, extra life stresses, and a two year old with night terrors can do that sometimes.

The school day had started fine. Being a Wednesday, I set my little boys up with their art activity, which today was painting with colored shaving cream. Having done this before, they managed without too much mess other than to themselves. When they were done, I headed them into the bathtub with the remnants of the colored shaving cream and their paintbrushes. Ah – a few quiet minutes to teach writing to the middle ones.

Removing the boys from the tub a while later I found they were still green, which wouldn’t have surprised you if you had seen the color of the water. A second bath, sans colored shaving cream, took care of that. Phew – still on track for the morning.

Then I made the mistake of looking down the basement stairs. Kristen had finished her online lit class, and perhaps overcome by the joy of receiving a 98 on her rigorous “Taming of the Shrew” exam, had picked up the shaving cream can and decided to spray Peter. By the time I glimpsed them, they were well into it, spraying one another’s hair, clothes, and by default, the floor. I wish I could tell you that I broke into gales of laughter, but no, mirth was not my reaction. ARGH! And you know what bothered me most – we were going to be late for our next subject!

It took a little bit to gain perspective on this one. Tim said, “Anne, but it IS funny! And it’s not like it is spray paint.” Kristen, when I apologized for overreacting, echoed his words almost exactly, “But it’s not like it was spray paint!”

Ah, yes. The infamous spray paint battle. Many years ago our eldest two, 4 and 5 at the time, happened upon a set of spray paints in our shed which we had used to paint a homemade teepee. They decided it would be great fun to turn them on each other. When I found them, they were thoroughly painted red, blue, and green. Their clothes were ruined and their skin retained its unnatural hue for some time despite repeated scrubbings with paint thinner. Still that time, unlike today, I actually found it quite amusing, and took pictures so we could always remember what scoundrels those two had been.

Now, I’m not arguing that we let our homes degrade into chaotic, everything-goes, Roman circuses. But I tend to err too much the other direction, in wanting to keep a tight lid on things, and in being too dour at times.

I don’t want my children remembering me as a tired, worn-out mom who couldn’t see the humor in a modest shaving cream fight. Kristen and Peter had their mess cleaned up in no time, and besides the house still smells nice, if you like shaving cream anyway.

Proverbs 17: 22 A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones. NKJV


Rachel Pierson said…

A merry heart, a gentle answer, and training up a do you keep your perspective? Ain't we got trouble in this world! Hew Dawgie!

It is something we deal with everyday, I think. Sometimes I just want to ive it to God, becasue afterall, He has an eternal viewpoint, and we are swallowed up by the moment, the week, the month or the wisp of a lifetime.

I was there last night, and then I went bowling. It kind of changed my perspective or cleared my mind, and when I got home, my child smiled at me, and I smiled back. The issue will undoubtedly come up again, but I need to remember that the battle belongs to the Lord.

Thanks, Anne!

Rachel...just lurking.

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