Remember those sappy Johnson & Johnson commercials: "A baby changes everything." The same could be said, and more so, to having older children suddenly after 10 years of marriage. If you imagine it's hard "jumping in to child rearing in the middle," you'd be right.
I was telling Lee last night, that by around lunch time, I am emotionally spent. I am in a battle all day, mostly with myself. Reining in anger, being just a little more patient, blocking out near constant chatter, making appropriate responses to continual questions. In short, trying to be a good example for my children... trying to show them how Jesus would act in all situations. I am just a human woman, however, and I fall short each and every day. My prayers consist of "please help me like my children today" and "please help me keep my tongue quiet, and let my anger dissipate quickly" and sometimes "please Jesus, please." So, yeah, it's hard.
That being said... there are so many good things here too. I mostly DO like the children, and more than that, I have found a well of love so deep and profound, that I still can only guess at its depth and breadth and height. I would lay my life down for either of them right now. I can only approximate the love that God has for us, his children. No, not even approximate, I can only understand the human part of it.
So, everyday I get a little more grown up. Everyday I gain new patience. Everyday I learn that my anger if let fly, does more harm than good. Everyday I let irritants go. Everyday I learn and grow and become more like Jesus. That's the good stuff.
I'm pretty sure that those of you with children are struggling with the same issues... trying to "civilize" small people who keep ACTING LIKE CHILDREN. And trying to "civilize" the beast within, that comes out ferociously when poked and prodded by little people with seemingly no logic.
I went away this morning by myself for several hours, and when I got back, Lee said he understood now what I was talking about last night. He was emotionally spent by 11 a.m. I said "I told you it was hard." He said "I never doubted it was, but it makes me want to give you breaks any time I can." Well, did I marry the right guy, or what? I laughed, and said "Good! I'm glad it didn't make you want to say 'This is too hard, I'll let Chris do it.' "