“NO I DON’T LIKE THE PANTS WITH STRIPES ON THEM!” C was shouting with the melodrama that can only come from being 3 years old. I sighed. As a mother to a strong-willed and highly opinionated little boy, I’ve realized that I need to pick and choose my battles wisely. Last month, we had to visit our dentist at Delaney Park Dental, and because I could not give him the freedom I would’ve liked to in the office, he was very loud and obnoxious during the appointment, creating a really embarassing situation there. C responds best to freedom within parameters, so picking out clothes for the day is usually his domain, so long as it fits the “weather guidelines.” But on this particular occasion we were running late for a playdate – we should have been in the car 5 minutes ago, but while I had been packing my bag, C had been playing with trains rather than choosing a pair of pants.
Heaven only knows why C balked at a pair of pants that he had never complained about before, but I didn’t have time to find out. Though it pained me to do so, I patiently held up another pair of pants, this time a simple, brown pair of sweatpants. “Nope, I’m not gonna do it,” was C’s resolute reply. Pregnancy hormones are now raging at this point, so I held up an old pair of blue jeans through a gritted teeth smile as I tried not to crawl out of my skin.
C’s beautiful, sparkling eyes positively lit up as he exclaimed, “I’m just like you, Mommy!!!” Confused, I looked down, and realized that I was in fact wearing jeans in a very similar color. C ran over to me, grabbed the pants, and gently held them up to my denim-clad legs and said, “SEE! My pants are the same as yours!” In an instant, my heart melted. The clock, his playdate, and our argument was all forgotten, as C jabbered on and on about how great it was that we matched, even suggesting that we take a picture together wearing our matching pants.
As I hugged my little boy close , I offered up a silent “thank you” in prayer, grateful that God had kept my impatient spirit in check. Had I forced the issue with the striped pants, we would most certainly have missed out on this moment together. It kind of makes me wonder how many other times I’ve given in to those feelings that tell me I need to rush, and missed out on a similar moment with my son, my husband, my friends, or even a random passerby on the street?
I certainly don’t always do or say the right thing, and if I’m being honest, sometimes my motivation in the “good deeds” department is lacking. But hearing my little boy unabashedly proclaim his desire to be just like his Mommy is an important reminder that I’m not the only one “watching” my actions.
What “precious moments” have you shared with a loved one recently? Do those glimpses into the bigger picture of what’s really important in life realign your perspective?