Don’t tell our kids this, but I often wish they would hurry up and grow old already. It’s a lot of work caring for a child, let alone three of them. It’s a lot of work to look at their lives, their specific needs and wants, and try to provide what we can and setting the appropriate boundaries for them so they stay safe, healthy, and grow to be respectable people. And it’s even harder when we are in such different levels of understanding of the world.
Case in point: the kids weekend sleep schedule. We let them stay up late because they don’t have to get up early in the morning, but what happens when they sleep late but still wake up at the same time?!? They’re grumpy, distracted, and quite frankly unpleasant to be around. And so we set a different limit that they need to sleep earlier to ensure they have the proper rest that they need. Well, you can imagine how that goes with kids who are grumpy, distracted, and quite frankly unpleasant to be around.
“We don’t need all that sleep!” “We feel fine!” “More sleep won’t help us!” and so on and so forth.
The thing is, they can fight and argue and protest the rules that we parents set, but we parents have the responsibility to do what is best for our kids as we see fit. Sure, we might make mistakes here and there, but our motivations and love for our kids do not waver (not really, at least).
Life cohabiting with others that will definitely bring us ups and downs, but love (at least the love that we have for our kids) will remain constant. I just wish they could see that instead of fighting with us over our very expression of that love.
I see in these readings how life has its ups and downs. Jeremiah tells us of the dangers of splitting our confidences, Paul explains how life can be found even in death, and Jesus gives us a literal list of ups and downs.
There is no doubt that life has its seasons, that there are good times and bad, that there will be things that we agree with and don’t. Sometimes we’re happy, sometimes we aren’t so much. Sometimes we’re ok with everything, sometimes we’re just angry.
The problem comes when everything is bad, things are always down, or we just stay angry always. We might feel like we’re not in control so we work even harder to gain that control, when the fact of the matter is we never had much control to begin with.
But what we did have, is love.
This isn’t to say that we’ll be happy all the time, but it is to say that we aren’t alone in the downs or the ups. We aren’t forgotten when things aren’t going our way or when they are. We continue to be loved even when we need to be disciplined. Love doesn’t always cause the hardship, but love can be seen as present within it.
I just hope that we can remember the blessings of life and not focus on the curses. And during those cursed times, may we focus on the love and that is freely given to us all and gently leads us back to the blessing.
Thanks be to God! Have a great week, everyone!