Parenting Can Be Like a Bullet to the Heart

By Holly Giles | Family

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 This morning was not anything out of the ordinary. It is the weekend, yet I had office work
I needed to do. But something happened, like a bullet that pierced my heart.

I am blessed to work mostly from home, yet the lines get blurred between working mom and just
 mom. Especially when young children can not remember when mom is working or not.  This
morning I had paperwork to submit and a few phone calls that were necessary.  I was feeling a
 little under pressure and disorganized.  As I walked through the cereal on the floor, over the
laundry hamper and stepped in milk, I was irritated before I sat at my desk.
I tried to concentrate on my task, but I kept hearing the boys bickering about who was doing their
 morning chores and who was not.  Which toy belonged to who and why the other should not play
 with it.  As Crockett headed out to do the chicken chores he hollered to
Cowboy that the dog did not have any water.
Cowboy did not get up and give the dog water.  He kept playing with his trucks.
 It is his chore each morning to give Shadow fresh water.
 He was hours behind on his task.
I had enough of disruption and I was mad about the water.
It looks harmless when I write it, but it was said in the most angry tone.
Like it came from a woman I did not know and did not want to meet.
30 seconds later, my eight year old boy showed up in the doorway.  His face was
red and tears were streaming down his chubby cheeks.  He looked at me as though
I had stomped on his favorite truck he was playing with, and he said:
“Mommy, why did you have to yell at me?”
Bullet.  It was like a bullet just pierced my heart.
 I had wounded my tender hearted little boy over a dish of water. Why?
He turned away and did his duty of giving Shadow water, but gave me a look of distrust.
Like I had chipped away a piece of his security and safety of home.
I had a flash of a memory of something that was said to me as a child, that I still carry to this day.
It did chip away at my sense of home.
Words matter.  Even on the most ordinary days.
Now, do we all get irritated, of course.  Do children drive us to the brink. Yes.  However when
we come at them with both barrels because of our own pressures,
 we can leave an imprint that scars.
I asked Cowboy to forgive me, he looked away.  I went to give him a hug and he went to his room.
I did not know what to do, so went and  asked him if I could say a prayer with him, he agreed.
“Dear Jesus, please forgive me when I have been unkind. Please bless Cowboy
 and help his heart to heal.  Help him to understand that mommy makes mistakes,
but loves him so much. Be with us today dear Jesus. Amen.”
An hour later, he was back on the living room floor playing with his truck. 
Happy and laughing as is nothing had ever happened.
 But it did. I remember.
Through the sticky milk on the floor, cereal and laundry, my son is still growing.
Still forming his heart. Still learning how to treat people. How to love people.
 Parenting is hard.
Let’s remember that, you and me, next time we see a frazzled mom at the grocery store.
 Let us give her a smile instead of a disapproving glare.
Let us be champions for each other.

Listen. Love. Encourage.
We are all going to make mistakes, time and again.
It is how we recover from them that will write on the slate of our children’s heart.
Thank you friend for listening today.
Do you need encouragement? Let me know, I am here to encourage you to
keep up the good work, even when you feel a bullet to the heart.


About the Author

Holly Giles is a wife, mother, and storyteller. As an author and Florida Master Naturalist, she writes about heritage homemaking skills, motherhood, and why Florida offers the best hidden natural gems to explore as a family.

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