The Sampler – Moments

by Guest Contributor

sampler-main-180-pix.jpg5 Minutes for Mom brings you exclusive samplings from the best mom blogs in our weekly column, The Sampler, hosted by 5 Minutes for Mom contributing editor Shera, from A Frog In My Soup.

Paper Bridges is the spiritual journal of writer and home schooling mom Monica Brand. Through her blog, Monica hopes to encourage other Christians in their walk with the Lord, to keep on pressing on in the hard times, and to be faithful in the small things. Monica and her husband have four children – ages 9, 8, 5 and 3.

Moments

Being a mother is a test of spiritual mettle. At least for me.

Susan, my eldest, fell out of a tree. Her wrist didn’t look broken, but off to the ER we went for an x-ray. Sure enough, the next day we found ourselves at the orthopedist for a permanent cast. My tribe of four did great waiting for the doctor in a cramped examination room. A life-like model skeleton of a hand and posters of bones on the wall entertained us. An educational field trip.

But trouble found us when we left.

In the waiting room, Peter turned the receptionist’s nameplate upside down in it’s holder. He laughed like a goof, that silly giggle of an 8-year-old boy when he thinks he’s being clever. I told him to fix it, and he did. Then his brother had to do it too, because it’s monkey see-monkey do. If it’s okay for Peter, then it’s okay for the five-year-old. Mothers of more than one boy, I know you would agree with me.

Before I could tell Edmund to fix the metal plate, an office worker came into the waiting room. A woman, middle aged, I guessed, with short, curly brown hair. She immediately spotted the tampered-with nameplate and picked it up.

Normally I’m focused on the kids at these moments. You know how it is, trying to get out the door with everything you brought with you, looking for the wayward magazine to pick off the floor. I want to leave a good impression, especially because we are home-schoolers.

But this time, my focus was on this woman. Her back to me, she didn’t know I was still there. Listening.

“Stupid kid.” The woman grumbled under her breath just loud enough for me to hear. She fixed the nameplate.

I was furious, dumbfounded. How could this woman be so callous with no sense of what boys do? He’s smart, curious about life. This is what they do, I want to yell at her. But I held my tongue. The combination of temper and tongue had gotten me in trouble before. Not the best Christian witness.

Curly hair turned. Did she know I heard her? I take a step toward her. I had a second to decide how I would respond.

“He’s not stupid. He’s just a boy.” My voice is low, I didn’t want Edmund to hear. My boy stood next to me, oblivious to what is going on.

The woman only shrugged and went back through the inner office door.

I want to follow her, tell her off. How dare she? But I didn’t. Out in the hallway, I stop and call the kids to me.

Susan in her new pink cast, Peter and Edmund eager to get home to play. Lucy strapped in her stroller. I have their attention. This is my moment.

“Don’t forget what it’s like to be a child, guys. Don’t forget the silliness and how fun it is to play.”

* Oh, God, don’t let me be like that woman. Help me to see life through the eyes of a child, how they find fun in the mundane, and thank you for holding my tongue when I wanted to be a mother lion for just a moment. *

~ Written by Monica Brand of Paper Bridges. She also blogs for Relief Journal, a Christian literary magazine, and New Jersey Moms blog.

If you would like to be considered for The Sampler please review The Sampler Guidelines.

This column is Hosted by Shera. She can be found at A Frog In My Soup



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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 melody is slurping life May 2, 2008 at 1:04 am

As a mom of 4 sons…I love life and this post. :)

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2 Vicki May 2, 2008 at 9:00 am

The times I feel the most instinctual response of protection is when someone hurts my children; through words or actions, on purpose or accidentally. It is a real struggle to keep those emotions in check to make sure my Christian witness shines through. Then I have to control my thought life because for the next however long I’m telling that person off and doing other horrible things to him/her :)

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3 Briana May 2, 2008 at 9:16 am

I have learned through my own attitudes as well as others, you will never remember what it’s like to be a child until you have them. You will consider teenagers to be stupid little mini-adults until you have one and watch your little angel struggle through the emotional/hormonal years that you had forgotten going through. You will consider five a year of idiocy until you watch your own kindergartener work through new lessons and share EVERYTHING she knows with you. I love my kids, and can see now how I thought kids were such a pain during my child-free early twenties. Now that I am a mom, I am much more understanding. So, when I hear stories of uncaring strangers reacting negatively, I just chalk it up to ignorance. They will learn when they have their own. :)

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4 Gina Conroy May 2, 2008 at 11:29 am

Thanks, I needed this. Sometimes I take life too seriously and with four boys, who are older now, I need to remember they still like to play and turn my world upside down!

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5 Bertie Ranger May 2, 2008 at 1:01 pm

I loved this story! It is so true how often adults forget how fun it is to be a kid. Kids should be allowed to be kids for as long as they can, because they will be thrown into a very adult world soon enough. Even then- I think it is ok for adults to have fun too! Thanks again for sharing this story!

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6 Tara May 2, 2008 at 1:23 pm

Kudos to you for not saying anything. All too often, we all feel the need to protect our youngsters and ourselves. Sometimes our best example to our children is to treat hostility with patience and kindness (thereby being the better role-model).

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7 Monica - Paper Bridges May 2, 2008 at 3:42 pm

Tara and everyone else,

Just so you know – I haven’t always been successful in keeping my temper in check. I’ve learned the humbling hard way.

http://monicabrand.net/?p=551

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8 digitalscrap.net May 2, 2008 at 10:04 pm

Sadly enough even the youngest members in society are discriminated against. Thank you for sharing.

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9 Jo May 2, 2008 at 10:54 pm

I love your phrase monkey see, monkey do, it is often used in our home. The 5 year old can’t be out-done, he always has to copy older brother. Well done on maintaining your composure.

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10 Marianne May 2, 2008 at 11:02 pm

You’re a better woman than I! My skill at sarcasm that cuts the deepest with the very last words would have so wanted to come out of the closet to play!

There is humble, yes, but there is also giving voice to those that have none.

Good on you, speaking up for your son and for boys in general (I’ve got two, too), and doing it with kindness.

And good on you for reminding your four that life looks best through child-like eyes.

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11 BlapherMJ May 3, 2008 at 4:51 pm

My hat is off to you for holding your tongue. There have been times when I’ve tried, but failed. As my 3 kids grow a little older, I get a little better… I know my kids are listening to everything I say and watching what I do. I’m constantly telling them “you know better” or “you know that’s not right” when situations arise…. I seem to find “Lord help me, please!” running through my mind quite often….

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12 One Mom May 3, 2008 at 8:01 pm

Watching the antics of little children should only bring smiles …those who condemn are dealing with other more serious issues. It is their loss to miss the joy in the moment. Hug those boys!

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