Wow. "Bringing up boys" is my every day reality.
Never did I anticipate the extent of this calling.
Never did I know of its depth of joy.
Nor did I see the breadth of its difficulty.
We have had a difficult season of parenting.
And let me also say that I am so grateful for the father that Wes is to our boys.
He is very much leading our family through this season and is very much the chief parent. They adore him, they respect him and they find much of their confidence in him.
This week began with a bang.
Monday morning, before Wes and I ever woke up.
Wyatt and Walker were up. (This is very normal.)
This regularly occurs. And the extent of what it has looked like in the past is both boys up, one in his crib, one on the floor, playing and laughing.
On Monday, Wyatt learned how to pull Walker out of his crib.
After getting him out, they both proceeded out of their room (big No No).
Then into the kitchen.
Then to the candy (big big No No)
and both ate... it... all... up.
A bowl full of gummy hearts and about 4 Air Heads a piece.
They are not allowed to have candy at will.
When they have it, it is in small doses.
I discovered evidence (wrappers).
Wes questioned Wyatt:
Wes: Wyatt why have you done this?
Wyatt: Because you and mommy did not know it was happening.
This occurred right in the middle of a morning during a season where his disobedience has looked very similar. Where we've been persistent (with some failure) at disciplining him appropriately and all of our measures seem to be failing.
After the season has already felt as though we are failing big time.
As if our structure for discipline is not working.
Or he is not getting it.
Either way, we were both floored.
Wes handled it as we normally do.
With our normal action.
They talked about the word 'integrity' - and worded it this way: "doing things that honor God when no one is looking".
The second part of that consequence was no sweets for a week.
Not anything sweet.
Not even a granola bar.
Not even a fig newton.
This has come to hurt this week.
As we've been in situations where others are able to have sweet, and my boys are not. Where they've been offered sweets and I've had to explain the reason they have to say 'no'.
So we were pretty overwhelmed at the lack of repentance or even desire to do good in our child's heart. Both of us have continued to feel weak and helpless as parents in how to discipline him and gently instruct him towards right doing. This season has been LONG.
We were finishing up dinner one night this week.
And this conversation was had (and witnessed by both adult parties in our home)
Wyatt: Daddy, when we die, who will write about us?
(a common question for Wyatt as we've been having many discussions about the people in the bible. They are no longer living. And Wyatt is convinced that when we die, we will be written about.)
Wes: Wyatt, I am hopeful that someone will write about you. And I pray that it will glorify God, whatever is written about you.
(he frowned, put his head down and said this)
Wyatt: I'm afraid they will write about Walker and I stealing the candy.
Tis so sweet to see this child we have been praying for respond softly to his sin.
Tis so sweet to see SOME fruit of what has seemed to be endless labor in teaching him rightly.
Since that conversation, he has said several times "I really wish I did not steal that candy."
So while we fully recognize that our children have sin natures and they will have full blown seasons of disobedience (right now for both), it is moments like this that I look to the Lord and I thank Him for the great work He is doing in my child's heart. And I am thankful to see a softer side of what has been a hardened heart.
Our prayer above all else:
"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you;
I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh."