Since today was Friday, the kids got to play with my IPad. But they left it on the floor after playing with it. When I picked it up to put it away, I was soooo upset. I saw a crack on the screen!
I didn’t shout or yell, I just cried. Waahhh! I said, “Kids, my IPad has a crack on the screen. I can’t believe this happened. You guys didn’t take care of it!” And I called Edric because I wanted to vent about how frustrated I was. (Most of the time, I am not particular about the kids breaking my things or losing my stuff.) But the IPad was a gift from Edric and he gave it to me with the assumption that I would be a good steward of it. When I saw the crack, my heart sank and I lost it…emotionally. Wow, crying over an IPad. What a baby. It seemed so silly. Even Edric was laughing at me while we spoke over the phone. My kids, on the other hand, were listening to everything I said and they knew I was not happy.
After I hung up, I announced, “No one is using my IPad for one month! That’s it. If you can’t take care of mom’s IPad, you don’t get to use it.” I stormed out of the living room and went to my bedroom to be alone.
How could this have happened? Did Tiana stomp on it? Did someone scratch it with a pair of scissors?
I wanted to see how badly the damage was so I removed the screen protector. And lo and behold, the IPad screen was spotless. What?! Not a scratch or crack. The only thing that had a crack on it was the screen protector.
I looked for the kids immediately to tell them the great news. They were nowhere to be found. Except for Titus who was wandering around caught up in his own little world and perfectly content, I couldn’t find the rest of them. Then I saw my two older boys, Elijah and Edan, curled up in their beds with their eyes red with tears.
“Don’t worry! My IPad is okay! It was only the screen protector that was damaged.” I thought they were crying because they felt bad about my IPad. But that wasn’t it.
They still buried their faces in their pillows. “What’s wrong, kids?”
“We thought you were mad,” Elijah said. And I finally extracted out of Edan the same sentiment. “I felt bad because I thought you were mad.” Oh dear. I had messed up. Titus had followed me into the room and he was nodding his head, too. Okay, so I hurt everyone, except for oblivious Tiana who was probably the sole culprit. (She said sorry and kissed my IPad earlier, when I was on the phone.)
“I’m sorry boys. I did get angry and it was wrong. You are more important than my IPad. I’m so sorry. Will you forgive me?” I hugged them tightly to make sure we were okay. My kids forgave me and our relationship was restored.
What did I learn? One, don’t overreact when my children make mistakes. They shouldn’t have left my IPad on the floor, but I shouldn’t have assumed that they broke it. I judged them before finding out what really happened. Two, don’t make vain threats. I said they couldn’t use the IPad for a month but I didn’t really mean it. I was just upset. Three, anger isn’t always about shouting, cursing, or yelling. My kids know when I put on my quiet anger. They are sensitive to my emotions and I need to be extra careful that I do not wound them. Fourth, I should not make my kids feel like I value material things more than my relationship with them. Material things are temporal, relationships are of infinite importance.
Oh it is so hard to be a mom sometimes! I feel like I am walking on egg shells with my kids because I need to watch my every move – my behaviour, my speech, my attitude, etc. But just this moment God reminded me…It’s only hard when you are operating on your own capacity.
So true, Lord. I didn’t have my quiet time with you this morning. I rushed into the day and didn’t put you first. Of course my “core” wasn’t at peace. I wasn’t walking by the spirit.
Most of the time, when I make mistakes with my children, it is because I am not walking by the spirit. This was a good lesson, Lord. Humbling, but good. I just gave a testimony on practicing your presence last Sunday and I failed to practice what I shared! Ack!
The real crack had nothing to do with my IPad but everything to do with my own character and disposition before God.
Galatians 5:16 – 17
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.