Don't you love the days when little old ladies pull you aside in the store and tell you, "Honey, I just want you to know that you are a wonderful mother and you have such lovely obedient children?"
(With MANY small children I assure you that I can count on one hand the number of times that that has happened to me in a public place... because yes, my treasures are usually the hooligans running through the store and playing hide and go seek in the clothes racks even after our not-so-fruitful conversation in the car before entering the store; you know, the conversation where I remind them all that there is a time and a place to play but this store is neither and we need to respect the people who own this store by not acting like a bunch of hooligans, so please practice a wee bit of self control! :)
My usual response to these kind old women is to turn bright red (because I am absolutely horrible at receiving any sort of compliment), and then I mutter some sort of tongue-twisted "thank you for that encouragement," as I gather the troops and move on to the next isle.
Yesterday we went to town. We don't really go there all that often. But once every two weeks we spend the day there gathering food and supplies that'll hopefully last us till the next time we find ourselves there.
And errand days can be quite the adventure with all the treasures in tote, full of energy and curiosity and the need to touch anything and everything that sparkles, flashes, or has some sort of bright colored child-luring packaging.
But yesterday. Yesterday was simply fun.
In Target we were in the check out line and the two oldest were having an extremely intellectual conversation about butterflies.
H_ "Why are butterflies called butter-flies?"
S_ "Because they are a type of fly that likes them some budder!!!!"
(Siah, just the way he said it made me laugh)
They were pure entertainment for those standing in line behind us and even the cashier who hadn't yet shown us her smile, seemed to find hers.
Don't get me wrong. My kids were still kids.
In fact the woman who gave me a compliment, did so right after I had caught the eldest son climbing around in the clothes rack. I had him come stand by me. I told him that he was having trouble practicing self-control and because I loved him so much I would be happy to help him learn that great skill by keeping his active adventurous self close to my hip. He started to pout. I kissed his forehead and told him that another great skill to have is acceptance with joy. "My Siah, you need to learn to accept my correction with joy." He looked up into my face and I smiled, BIG.... then I tickled him under his chin and insisted that he musn't smile. And of course by then he was done with the pouting and we moved on.
I think I'm learning that the good days don't mean days without conflict.
I think I'm learning that the best way to soak up these treasures of mine is to purpose to find the joy. Because even when they're struggling with self control, they're still discovering life and talking about "flies that like them some budder!"