We have a wild thing.  He is two and a half with blonde hair, blue eyes, and dimples that will equally get him into – and -out of trouble.

We are continually learning our dance, he and I.  Funny how an hour ago we battled for control, and now a mere hour later I hear a soft whisper, “Mommy, I want to be next to you.”  And so, he, his space ship, and his pretend power tool curl up next to me in the bed.  I dozed off to his peaceful breathing and a plastic wing digging into my back.  Unsuspectedly, my heart softened.

You may relate.  Intermingled with sweet moments of smitten love, my boy has a knack for not just “pushing” my buttons.  He subscribes to a more pro-active approach.  He seeks those buttons out, stands on them, and occasionally jumps on them until we simply cry out mercy!

My husband and I – we need to be each other’s encouragement, assurance, and perseverance personified.  Often we just don’t know.  Because this raising a strong willed boy thing is no joke.  Where did he come from? (Though if memory and humility serve me correctly, I may have been a bit of a high energy handful, myself)…. Our 2 year old check up was met with all the usual questions and then my confession that “Gee, Doc, is there something wrong with him? He just gets on our nerves, and we are constantly disciplining him at home.” Doc’s diagnosis was that he is a perfectly normal little boy who continuously hopes to run the household and proposed treatment:  a firm, gracious reminder that he indeed, does not.

And that’s why you got a spanking on Christmas morning.  Child, just because Santa came does not mean you may lose your mind.  Tis the season for Jesus.  He comes from a lineage that promotes
sparing the rod spoils the child.  Kindly consider yourself upgraded, we use a spanking spoon and not a rod.  Merry Christmas.

In the professional arena, I have mad respect for the big picture thinkers – those that can see an entire company each time they speak to any individual employee.  I pray to do that with our sweet, wild thing.  I pray to look beyond the moment of frustration to know that time spent disciplining and training now will reap a harvest of fruit later, for him, and for those that he will go on to impact.  Sometimes I just need to pray for a parenting zeal, for a clarity that can both embrace today’s facts and look forward with a hope that reaches beyond tomorrow.  I have to believe that I will grow into the perfectly awkward combination of fierceness and tenderness to not only win, but keep my boy’s heart.

Tonight that meant sleeping with a space ship.  I don’t know yet what it will mean tomorrow, but I am committing to the big picture.