I agreed to take the kids to Culvers after CBS today. We got our food, sat down at a booth, and the kids started bickering. I tried to break in and change the subject, but they kept coming back to their ridiculous fight. There I was, fresh from Bible study, recharged and full of God's peace, surrounded by fools who were engaged in the stupidest fight you ever heard. I've been intervening in their fights for 8 years, and no amount of coaching, preaching, or discipline seems to make any difference. Yesterday's feelings of failure as a mom started creeping into my peace.
I decided I wasn't going to let the enemy (in the form of my own children) rob me of my peace. So I took my food to a table across the room and sat down by myself with my back to my kids. Ahhhhhh....much more peaceful over there. I could barely hear them at all. Occasionally, I heard a brief snippet ("You are so selfish!" "It's my turn! You promised!") that let me know the argument was still in full swing.
When I finished eating, I threw my garbage away, walked out without looking back, and got in the van. Believe me, I fantasized about just driving away, but of course I didn't. I wasn't sitting there long before Noah came flying out in a panic. "What are you doing? Are we leaving? Should I get Sarah?" I said, "I don't care." He said, "Wait, I'm going to go get Sarah." He got to the door of the restaurant just ahead of a group of several women. He pulled the door open and stepped aside to let them go in. There was an old lady who was lagging behind the rest, and my son stood there patiently holding that door until she went in. My hope was restored, and I thought I must be doing something right, in spite of it all.