Get Inspired!

1744 1744_ () 1744 1744

I found this on one blog who credited another blog, so let’s just say this thing is floating around the Internets. 1744″ ? .

1744

Too Two

1743 1743_ () 1743 1743

I posted this over at Faith and Family yesterday and Augie walked by when I was proofing it. He read my post and started to laugh — he thought it was hilarious! (He only made it through the first paragraph — the imagery! Too good!)
Tonight, as I was working on another F&F post, he asked specifically to read that toddler post again. Once again he laughed heartily and then he called his brothers to read my handiwork. They all laughed as well!

As I am all for spreading joy, I thought I’d share it with you here! As you can see, it’s really not meant to make you belly laugh. In fact, I may have been writing through tears. I can’t remember. Either way, I’m posting this here and I’d love some feedback, if you’re so inclined.
The post reads:
Toddlers are such a mystery. One minute they are staring at you with big, beautiful brown eyes full of love, mouth covered in whatever they just got their chubby little hands on. The next, they are climbing onto the arm of the couch and flailing their body, full force, onto padded cushions.
Or is this just my toddler?
Henry has recently discovered the fine art of being Two and my goodness it’s throwing me for a loop. Bless me Father, it’s been five years since my last toddler! I think I’m forgetting something.
Today I went to lunch with a friend and spent the entire meal dealing with my sweet little guy and his irrational desire to go look at the balls by the front door of the restaurant. True, Henry was a little tired, but really, he’s been acting this way for a few weeks. Two, I think, is here to stay.
Remind me again, some tricks of the trade? I brought paper and pens, and a little snack for him while we waited for our food. What am I forgetting? Or is the answer really (as I suspect) avoiding these kinds of situations until toddlerhood is a thing of the past?

1743″

1743

School Pictures

1742 1742_ () 1742 1742

Here are two shots from the first day of school. I like these because clearly, at some point between Photo A and Photo B I told Augie and Charlie they better start showing each other some respect. So they struck a pose full of love. It does my heart good to see they can act this way on demand.

Isn’t it strange to think one day Henry will be the same size as his big brothers?

1742″ .

1742

Moments of Grace

1741 1741_ () 1741 1741 Weekly column

A few days into the new school year, I got a phone call from one of my boys’ teachers.

“I just wanted to let you know about something that happened at school today,” she said, and I felt inclined to think “Oh lawdy.”

The teacher went on to explain the incident, one that involved my son and his good buddy. The friend had gotten in trouble for some impish behavior just as school was letting out – it was not the worst misdeed by any means and as the story went on I began to wonder what any of this had to do with my son.

After school, the teacher told me, the friend’s mom contacted the teacher to explain that her son was very upset because he was not entirely to blame. The truth was my boy had more to do with the bad behavior than the boy who ended up in trouble.

As the teacher was telling me all this, I had a split second thought that I might decide to be annoyed. It really was just that – I wasn’t annoyed as yet, but I wondered if I was going to have to fight feeling annoyed when it was all said and done.

But then I realized, after that pause, that my friend would never act maliciously towards me or my son. That was Moment of Grace No. 1: I know how much my friend loves me. When I thought about her talking to the teacher about the “other side” of the story, I quickly recognized that this was more about setting the record straight (for her son’s peace of mind) than simply making sure my boy got what was coming to him.

The teacher continued that she wanted to let me know about all this because what happened could be a good lesson for my son. That afternoon at school, my boy watched his friend get in trouble – not the worst kind of trouble, but his friend took the blame for something my boy had done. For me, that was Moment of Grace No. 2: I had the wherewithal to listen to the point of the teacher’s call. The teacher called because she wanted my son to be the best boy he could be, which includes growing in character and virtue.

Later, when I talked to my son about what happened, he was quick to admit that he had been the instigator and not his friend. I asked why he had not said anything when the teacher reprimanded his friend, and he admitted he didn’t want to get in trouble.

That led to a very good discussion on the importance of standing for truth – for being willing to admit you are wrong even when it might cost you. In this case that would have meant a minimal tongue lashing, but the point was, my boy needed to learn the important lesson of doing the right thing. He also needed to get things right with his friend and his teacher. He did that the next day.

In life, we have those split-second opportunities to either get really worked up about something, or to take a deep breath and choose to chill out. This situation was just that for me.

I see all this as nothing to do with my own good graces and personal virtue, but having the grace in that moment to receive the goodness God sent my way. It was about not rushing to judgment, but instead waiting to assess the situation before choosing a defensive stance.

Ultimately, the love of that teacher for my son proved to be a life lesson that I hope he won’t forget. The teacher didn’t have to call me; she could have brushed the whole thing off. Maybe she could have even assumed I wouldn’t hear what she had to say. But she was willing to call and talk – and God generously gave me the grace to listen. What a blessing all around.

God is always trying to lead us closer to Him, to speak truth to us through an array of sources. He loves us so much he’ll even find ways to help us listen. 1741″> .

1741