It was a conversation last night about studying for tests that led to the silent treatment that turned into the quest for homemade waffles at 630am this morning. Confused? So was I until I heard the words we see what you can’t fall from my mouth.
My son, the same little boy who memorized the names and facts of over 100 dinosaurs and corrected anyone who got them wrong… The same little boy who memorized the names of over 400 Pokémon including each of their types, their powers, their attacks… This is the kiddo who got a C-on a periodic table of the elements quiz and blew apart when his father, a chemical engineer, questioned him about it. Catch the irony there? The hubster lives the PTOE everyday. In fact, I’m sure he’s able to recite it in ways you’ve never heard far quicker than he can recall my birthday.
After engaging in a lively conversation about study habits and grades and futures and why the hubster and I feel qualified to offer the advice we share, the teen stormed off to his room and honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever been happier to see bedtime roll around.
Fast forward to today. While I thought it odd the kiddo was a bit quieter than usual this morning, I didn’t realize our conversation wasn’t over until I walked into the kitchen. Apparently advice about studying isn’t the only thing I stink at.
“We’re out of the waffles you like so I’m making blueberry muffins,” I offered in my best you aren’t getting to me one bit voice although every mom within a fifty mile radius knows that’s a lie. “Do you remember I mentioned that during dinner?”
“Don’t bother,” he huffed. “I’m making waffles.” And then I saw it, numerous ingredients strewn about the island. Ingredients for waffles. From scratch. On a school morning. Oh my.
It took every ounce of control I could muster to make my coffee and vacate the kitchen without saying anything and I almost made it. I really did.
“We see what you can’t,” I whispered from the bottom stair before I began to climb, worried my son had missed the point of our family conversation the evening before. The hubster and I didn't just fall off the back of a truck. We adore this kiddo and we’re desperate for him to understand that we have his best interest at heart. We know if he puts his head down and does the work, great things can happen. That if he just takes a few extra minutes, he can memorize the periodic table of elements (or whatever else it is he needs to know) just as he did the dinosaurs and all those Pokémon. I want him to believe that we really do know what we’re talking about. Truth is, after nearly a decade and a half of having this child’s back, I want him to trust me.
It wasn’t until I was halfway up the stairs that it hit me. God has had my back for four and half decades yet there are still days I doubt the things I know to be true of him. Days I’m paralyzed with fear. Days I’m fraught with indecision. Days I lack grace. Days I don’t have the right words for my little boy. Days I feel like a failure as a mom. God sees it all and He knows what I can't about the plans He has for me.
I have no idea if the message the hubster and I tried to convey to the kiddo last evening was received but in the quiet between then and now, it dawns on me that it’s unrealistic to expect my son to master at fourteen the very things I still struggle with at forty-five. We’re allowed our doubts. We’re allowed our fears. We’re even allowed our silent rebellions. God’s grace is enough to cover it all.