Lately my children have been driving me crazy. Even as we write this my daughter is in her room being punished for shoving her little brother and my son is demanding admittance to my lap at very high volumes. They frustrate me so much. Yet, I see so much of myself in them. I guess that is the upsetting part. I can relate, to the anger and frustration when I won’t let them watch Thomas the Tank Engine first thing in the morning. There are days when I would rather lay on the couch watching DVD’s of old TV shows and drinking hot chocolate with homemade cookies. But I don’t have that option, in part because of my children.
The need to set a good example is exhausting. They scream at me, especially my 19 month old with the low verbal skills. I want to scream back. I see in their eyes the same anger and frustration that I feel. “Why doesn’t anyone listen to me? Why don’t I ever just do what I want?”
Then there are the good moments. When my daughter wants to come with me to the doctor to hold my hand while I get shots and is actually a trooper and incredibly empathetic. She didn’t develop that empathy in a vacuum, it is a reflection of the comfort she receives from her parents and other loved ones.
Is it possible that they have actually gotten some of my good qualities as well as the bad? She is bossy but empathetic. He is loud but seems to have a sense of humor. (Who knew a kid who barely talks good make jokes?) They are a reflection of me, both in my strengths and weaknesses. But it can be so easy to only focus on the weaknesses I see reflected back at me.
I am the child of a perfect Father but my reflection is flawed. So as we head into a time of year that is both wonderful and maddening I want to look for those wonderful moments where my children become more like me as I become more like Him.
All the photos in this post are taken by my amazing photographer friend, Laura Mounts.