"We would have gotten away with it too - if it weren't for those meddling kids..."
We jokingly quote the villains from Scooby-Doo when things don't go our way in the parenting realm...but it is always said with twinkles in our eyes.
Children do meddle with our freedom, our finances, and our sanity at times...but those moments are tiny little dark patches on a huge canvas FULL of color. The shadows are necessary to give the "big picture" of our lives some depth. Because of them, we can better appreciate the brilliant reds, the bright whites, and the vibrant yellows that life also throws our way.
I don't want to be 60-years-old with kids moved out of the house before I step back to appreciate the mural that I've spent my life painting. My goal in parenting is to find the proper point of view TODAY.
Perspective is my favorite word in the English language. I love to find just the right angle from which to observe a situation, to see things from a higher place. I even enjoy throwing on some rose-colored glasses on occasion...I think rose must be the color of God's grace.
Perspective changes everything.
As parents, we can focus on the sleepless night...or we can fix our eyes on the fevered little face falling back to sleep in our arms.
We can remember the tantrums and sibling fist-fights throughout the day, or we can delight in morning snuggles, "Aha" moments, giggles, and sweet bedtime prayers.
We can complain about finding babysitters to get moments "alone", or we can rejoice in the accessibility of our little munchkins. One day they will want a "say" in their own schedules. Eventually, they will GLADLY provide us "alone time" as they shuttle off to socialize with friends (on the one free night of their weekend)...even when we secretly hoped to have some time as a family.
We can spend today grumbling about the way our children push our buttons (because they are so much like us), or we can let God grind off our own rough edges as we see our weaknesses played out in miniature form.
I'm writing this to read in my not-so-"rosy" moments. I hope it reminds me to step back, tilt my head (and maybe even squint my eyes)...whatever it takes to see the artwork in a less harsh light, to see it softened, and to see it made beautiful once again.
It's all a matter of perspective.