In recent days I’ve watched the news report incessantly about the riots in Baltimore. With the craziness of the fighting and the looting there was a bright spot yesterday when someone caught, on camera, a woman beating the back of the head of what appears to be her son. She is chasing him down, yelling, pulling his face mask off, and knocking him silly. I love that woman. I heard a reporter this morning say that he was uncomfortable with the head slapping. You know what I’m uncomfortable with? A teenager breaking into a car with a baseball bat and stealing the contents of the car. I’m also not big on teens (or grown ups, for that matter) busting windows out of stores and setting buildings on fire. I saw her actions as the equivalent of grabbing a toddler hand that is reaching for a candle flame. When you see your child running toward danger you do what it takes to stop them. Especially if the danger they are running towards is going to cause danger for others.
This parenting thing is hard. Just when you think you have the hang of it someone throws a monkey wrench into the game and you have to figure out new methods and new strategies. It’s not for the weak of heart and at the risk of sounding like cliche, it really does take a team. I’m so thankful that Chuck and I are on the same page most days when it comes to what’s allowed and what’s not. We mostly agree on discipline. It would be a million times harder doing this on my own or if we weren’t on the same page. You mama’s that are working that one out – doing it by yourself or with a husband who isn’t supportive – I commend you and you are in my prayers.
I am also very blessed to have a team. I have our Oikos (our not-by-human-blood-but-by-Christ’s-blood-family), countless church friends, and some very important women from school. I’m a part of a group text that has been ongoing since our babies were in kindergarten. We met all met in Mrs. Clift’s class and were bonded by a sense of needing to connect with other moms. We share joys and sorrows and math problems. We compare spelling lists and lunch box decisions and sassy meltdowns.
When one of our kids gets invited somewhere we are comparing notes on whether or not it’s safe or expensive or appropriate. We stick together. And the best part is that our kids know it. My kids know which mom’s car they could jump into if ever an emergency happened. They know that if a fight breaks out on the playground or if there is a 1st grade kissing scandal I’m going to hear about it before they even get in my car. They know that there are more eyes than mine watching them and that my ears will hear what’s going on.
Will we catch everything? Probably not. Will we always agree on all aspects of parenting? Most certainly not. But my team is tough and we’ve committed to raising kids who love Jesus and don’t act like fools in public. We don’t all go to the same church. Our kids don‘t play the same sports. We don’t barbecue together on weekends but we are connected. Every. Single. Day. We communicate with each other in order to stay on the same page…or at least in the same book. We would throw down with anyone who tried to hurt our kids and we’d be the first ones chasing them all down if, like that woman on the news, it was required.
Do we always dress like Colonials? Only when duty requires. We do what it takes to keep each other sane and keep our kids safe, smart, and happy. Okay, safe and smart. Happy is negotiable.
I’m blessed to have a team. I think parenting would be so much harder without one. I love these ladies and I’m grateful to have them on this path with me.
Who’s on your team?