Most of the time when I have a "Mother of the Year" moment, I feel terrible for a few minutes, but then I can laugh at my mistake and shake it off and move on.
However, Saturday I screwed up ROYALLY. And I think this one will stick with me.
On Saturdays Nahomie goes to the market to buy our produce for the week. She usually takes Fritzie with her because she can't carry everything by herself. On Saturday, Fritzie was not feeling well and so Nahomie asked if she could take Jean Louis. I said yes. Jean Louis was not happy about this but I thought he was just being lazy. So I gave him this big lecture about how everyone in the family has to do things they don't always like to do. For example, I had to get up earlier than everyone that morning and prepare breakfast. And then I had to tote boxes of rice for about an hour. Didn't particularly want to do either of those things, but I did because when you're in a family, you all have to work together.... Blah, blah, blah. He's not even a teenager but his eyes began to glaze over as if he were.
I sent him and Nahomie out on a taxi and they were off.
When Jean Louis came home he was very moody. I told him that he needed to change his attitude or he wasn't going to go to the beach with us that afternoon. As we were sitting eating lunch, Nahomie mentioned that Jean Louis was crying a lot at the market. So I again, figured he was just giving teenage attitude and asked her more about it so I could discuss it with him further and decide if he should be able to go to the beach or not. She said that he was moping around at the market and so she set him down on a bench and told him to sit there until she was done and then she'd come back with the stuff she needed help carrying. When she returned he was sitting on the bench sobbing.
As Nahomie was telling us this, a lightbulb went off in my brain. I remembered that just a month ago when he was abandoned, he was abandoned in that very market. Saturday, he thought he was being abandoned all over again.
I. felt. like. crap.
Here I am, judging him with my attitude and actions, and yet I was SO. FAR. OFF.
Bringing in kids with histories like ours comes with all sorts of baggage. Please pray that we'd have the grace to bear that in mind in our everyday interactions. It's a thin, thin line between living with grace and being a permissive parent. As we walk that line, we don't feel as if we always know if we're doing the right thing.
Maya Angelou said, "I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better."
This I now know. For now at least, I am not sending Jean Louis back to the market. At least not without me holding his hand.