Lessons in Love

My husband came to me this morning with a gentle request. He approached me with such care and quietness. It is so sweet that when he wants to direct me towards a correction or point out something that is less than wonderful – he does so in such a tender way. And that right there would be lesson enough – if I wasn’t such a knucklehead sometimes.

When our teenagers are being typical teenagers – which is something that they are prone to do – I mean it only makes sense, right? – I tend to get all huffy and sometimes a little stompy. Yet, I was a typical teenager. I didn’t think about cleaning my own room until someone made me. I didn’t do my homework without being hassled. I got grounded for being a snippy backtalker to my mother. I was far from an ideal teenager. So – it’s odd that I would expect anything other than that from my own teens. For some reason, I get all worked up and expect them to be the exception to the rule – the teens that make other parents jealous because they do absolutely everything right without any nagging.

This morning, my husband started talking about the kind of encouragement we could be to the boys. How – I shouldn’t get upset if they’re doing what an ordinary young person would do. How – I shouldn’t expect them to get all excited about the things I try to do for them and jump up and down like happy puppies. They are teenagers, who may someday thank me for what I do for them, but until they have kids of their own, they will speak in monotone and mope around a little, because to their peers, this is considered cool.

So – rather than get frustrated or huff at them, I can find ways to encourage them No Matter What. And that means, I can encourage them for a positive trait – and completely overlook the state of their room. Their room’s cleanliness or lack thereof is nothing compared to the outstanding characteristics I see growing in them. I have to shift focus – OFF of anything annoying – because come on, if my parents had only focused on the annoying, they would never have said a kind thing to me. They didn’t focus on negatives, but on the few small parts of my personality when I was a teen that were not glaring defects. They focused on my creativity and made me feel that anything was possible for me.

It’s sad to me that I can’t remember to be positive all the time. I’m sorry that I need to have little things like this pointed out to me. But I’m also happy that I have a husband who cares about me enough to help me redirect when I’m going down a huffy path and starting to spread bad vibes. He told me this morning that he feels this is the area that will bring me to being a GREAT mom.

He said, “You are an awesome mom. You do wonderful things for all the kids. But if you could find a way to do all these things without huffing under your breath. If you could find a way to say beautiful things to the kids, instead of just checking off a list of the things they’re supposed to do… You would pass over into greatness right away. You would be happier and the whole house would be happier.”

So here I go – off to completely overlook anything annoying and find all sorts of great and delightful and outstanding qualities to shout about!

Photo from here.

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