Today was a difficult day.
Like most days, it had its moments of peace and rest, but it also had difficult moments.
The dynamic of having children dictates that, given the number of people in the home, there is an increased chance of someone getting upset. Today, it did not seem to stop. Since our children are between the ages of one to four, we have our share of the emotional rollercoaster. So much emotion today.
Mark Gungor once used the illustration of children “peeling your brain” . it’s a vivid illustration that sometimes captures the way that we feel, navigating the tangled web of triggers for frustration and upset responses. Not being children, it’s easy to shake our head at the things which get them frustrated, but we have to keep in mind that we, too, have our share of overreaction. Sure, it isn’t usually about whose car is whose or who is poking whom, but we can still be silly in our own ways.
I recently felt impressed with the idea of “growing up together.” We often hear “growing old together” when others refer to a lifetime of marriage, but what about growing up? We do not have everything figured out, and with luck, we learn and become more loving and whole people with each day. Perhaps we should think of marriage and children as “growing up together.” Sure, I have a few years on each of my children, but we are learning patience, humility and grace toward each other. We are learning to do what is right or considerate instead of being too selfish. Parenting, then, is not to stand at the peak, instructing others how to climb, but it is to climb together, a ledge or two ahead.
It is great to know that things get better. I know that people have always said that. I hope that the days to come are not better because the children “grew out of a phase,” but that perhaps we all practiced love and devotion, sowing seeds of peace which we will be able to harvest in our relationships soon, that we all grew to be better than we were before. As C.S. Lewis wrote in The Last Battle, “further up and further in.” Maybe we really are supposed to be like the olive tree, and the growth will never stop.