Traditionally, not knowing the answer to something bugs the crap out of me. I love to learn and work and if I’m working on something I am learning, bring it on. I like reason, order, and logic. Things happen a certain way because that’s how things work.
This, as you imagine, makes parenting fun. Sweet little beings blow my affection for logic and order all to you know where.
Today, I made an interesting decision.
I’m going to be okay with not knowing. Even if I have to practice saying, “I don’t know,” while smiling, – all at the same time.
I got to this earth shattering revelation through prayer.
God told me, “Didn’t it occur to you, that I designed parenting this way? I could readily give you all the answers. I choose not to.”
If God chooses to parent us on a trajectory at our own pace, in our own time, on our own journey, without all the answers at once, then, we can imitate Him and parent likewise. Even if I have to parent without knowing. And smile and be okay with it, in fact, be more than okay, joyful.
I am going to stop feeling like I SHOULD have all the answers to my kids quirks, because I don’t.
It’s Monday. We emerge from our cocoon of sleeping in and playing with friends and eating treats and straight up PLAY to early morning routine and WORK.
We made it to our respective places this morning, but both our kids were out of sorts. Both teachers, who I love and appreciate and adore to the ends of the earth kind of looked at me like, “what’s up with that?”
I like to know these things. I like to have appropriate and pretty answers tied up with a bow to explain my children and their moods, good and bad. But I don’t. So, instead, I claim them, and I love them wildly, and I say, “I don’t know, but have a great day!”
It could be because our two year old’s favorite Superman underwear wasn’t available, or that his Spiderman action figure looked at him wrong. It could be because Little Einsteins didn’t end the way he wanted it to.
And our 5 year old? I don’t know. It could be because her brother took “her spot on the couch” this morning and messing with her routine really just ticks her off (where does she get that from? ) or that she doesn’t want a barrette in her hair, or to start the day with reading. I don’t know. And really, that’s okay.
No more pressure, Mom, to completely understand every facet of every second of your child’s life. You are still a great mom, even if your usually joyful and accomplished kindergartner stomps her feet in the school entryway and declares “I hate school and I can’t believe you make me go!” And you have no idea why. Sometimes you just put your arm around your little people and think “I totally don’t get you, but your mine, and I love you.” (This may have happened.)
Sometimes you make a conscious effort to choose joy in the moment, even if that means, you also have a quiet confidence in not knowing.
This concept is contrary to what the world says. The working world, in particular, thrives on you having the answer, having your stuff together, and showing up ready and able to explain. I love competence as much as the next person, however this is one parallel from the working world to motherhood that doesn’t equate. When you parent, you don’t have to show up with the answer, just show up.
I’m so thankful we come to the feet of a God who already knows. We are invited to drink abundantly of a love that assures us in the unknowns. We are invited to come alongside a mysterious adventure: one where we advance, not because we always know the right answer, but simply because we are traveling with the One that does. And it is in this quiet assurance, even with chaos from toddler and kindergarten, tween, or teen angst swirling around, that we want our kids to see a life truth: they won’t always have the answer, either, but they have One that loves them faithfully by their side.