Yesterday should have been a day of celebration. My third book was officially released, and though many people had already received their pre-ordered copies (go you!) October 1st was THE date.
The date the Sweethaven series was complete.
I woke up feeling, of course, like I hadn't done enough to spread the word (after all, no one can buy your book if they've never heard of it)...I pretty much always feel that way. But in my experience, it seems that you do what you can and then you have to let God take care of the rest.
My release day joy was soon squelched when my daughter appeared in my room with that look on her face.
You would think that wearing uniforms would eliminate the arguing over clothes, but that's just a myth created by private school principals.
I love my kids in their uniforms. They're adorable.
But I've discovered it's not so adorable when you're a sixth grader in between sizes.
To help things run smoothly, I keep the uniforms separate from the rest of the laundry. So, Saturday, I told both kids to get their uniforms in the basket. Plenty of time to get them done before Monday.
This is riveting blogging, folks. Stay with me. It's about to get ugly.
Ethan, in a rare display of obedience, grabbed his uniforms almost immediately and filled the basket. Sophia did not.
Two more times I told her "I'm doing uniforms. I need yours." Both times I was met with that grimace that said "Oops. Didn't do that yet."
So imagine my surprise when, hours later, I sort through the uniforms and discover I only have boy clothes. My first thought was "Well, I told her..." She'd have to find out the hard way that if she wants her uniforms clean she has to do her part.
Sophia is mostly a great kid. A little flighty when it comes to bringing homework home or putting clothes in the laundry...but mostly good. So, I'm compelled to ask myself "Why was this a battle you chose to fight?"
Later that night, she did bring her clothes down, but by now it was Sunday evening. Adam threw her uniforms in the dryer by themselves but he failed to include one crucial thing.
Sophia's prized navy blue undershirt.
And friends, that is when it all started.
To tell you it was like World War 3 in my house yesterday morning would be an understatement. This child had an epic meltdown. Over a shirt. I can't say I didn't understand. I get how it feels to not like your clothes, but in all my trying to reason with her, I overheard myself say "Next time you should put your uniforms in the laundry when I tell you to."
It was a valid point. At the heart of this WAS her choice not to do as she was told...
But after the fireworks went out and I was left with the quiet of my book release...I found myself thinking Was that really the issue here? What I heard in my own voice was pride... that how dare you not do what I say...
And I didn't like it.
As I replayed the morning's scene, I thought to myself, "Couldn't I have looked ahead to morning and said 'There is no way she's going to start her week off without everything she needs...'"? Could this whole thing have been due to my inattentiveness as a mother?
I think sometimes it's hard to step back from this "growing little people" business and say "in the grand scheme of things...what's the better option?" And I should be able to do that by now, shouldn't I?
I should be able to choose my battles...and if a battle is going to go global, I should find a way to avoid it, find another way to teach the crucial lesson. Find a way to set everything else aside and say "What is it that she really needs?"
When I picked her up from school yesterday, I informed her of her punishment. While I had to take some responsibility for the lack of undershirt, I didn't take a bit of responsibility for the slammed door or the smart mouth...
But I did apologize.
And as I did, I watched that stubbornness in her face melt away. I said "We can both do better, Soph."
And I meant it.
And it helped.
Because while I want my kids to be respectful (of both people and things) I also want to set my kids up to succeed...and this weekend, I didn't do that.
And if there's a battle I need to choose wisely, well, that's it. The battle with myself...to let go of my own pride if it means I'm setting her up to succeed.
Time to do better...