There have been many moments over the past (almost) thirteen years where I have found myself seriously questioning my skills as a parent. But then there are those other moments...the good ones. The ones that make me stand a little taller and smile a little wider.
And since I spend so much time here on this blog ranting and raving about the stress those two hard heads bestow upon me, I feel it is only fair that I share the two most recent moments in which they showered me with joy...
Saturday we were doing yard work again and although I knew it would most likely be an unwelcome argument, I told Devin to get off the XBox and come on outside to help us. And an amazing thing happened. He did it. Without resistance. Without a battle of wills. Without me having to threaten him within an inch of his life. And most importantly, without me feeling like I was gripping the cliff of sanity with my fingertips again.
He pulled weeds, he loaded them up in the wheelbarrow, more than once, and took them out of the fence to the woods, and then went on to help Charlie lay down ground cover and spread pine needles while I was re-locating Hostas. And he did it all without so much as an argument, a request for payment or any woe is me comments, even after his brother cut out early to pick blackberries in the woods behind the fence.
And after the way this first year of middle school (7th grade) has gone, I was floored. In the very best of ways.
Then yesterday at the beginning of church, Momaw Pat told me she had to share a story about Dracen and I think my first words were something along the lines of "Oh no! What did he do?" .
But what he had done was this...
He was at the ball fields one night last week with his Popaw when a lady approached Popaw in order to tell him about an incident that had happened with his grandson (that would be Dracen) and her little granddaughter. Apparently Dracen and another little boy were roughhousing it up, the ways boys do, when a stray berry (or whatever it was they were throwing) hit her young granddaughter and left her in a state of tears.
The other little boy fled but Dracen showed compassion and remorse by walking over to the little girl to apologize and make sure she was okay.
And it is in moments like that, those priceless, cherishable, God-given moments, as small as they may seem to some, that I know, am reassured, that I must just be getting some of this parenting thing right after all.
Now if I can just remember that the next time I catch one of them in the middle of a roundhouse kick or heaven forbid, in the middle of an attempt to pee off the back deck...