I hope all of you have had a great weekend. This weekend I spent with my family. We celebrated my son's 13th birthday. He is such a character. I love watching him grow up into who he is going to be while facilitating that growth. I think as a little family, we have a good flow going. My prayer is to keep the good flow going to raise good Christian men and women.
So, I began to understand how my children view me a while back. I think they are getting to know me without the lens of my husband. My husband was always a sweetie so I can see him protecting them from the harsher parts of my personality. I vaguely remember him telling them that I was tired when I was livid. I remember him telling one of them not to mess with me or I was taking a nap when I was just decompressing. I understand now that he was creating a barrier so that my children would think of their mom as nice. They are learning that this is not exactly true...
I was watching a movie and there was a kid in the movie that got into a fight. I remember my son saying, "You see this. This could never be me." I asked him what he meant. He told me that if he ever got into a fight that I would come to the school. I wondered what would be the problem in this. I'm a reasonable woman... aren't I? He said that when he thinks about retaliating with physical violence some regular old stupidity, the thought of me walking on his campus (with my walk) stops him. Apparently, this vision of me is THAT effective. I nodded to myself. My son uses a vision of me for impulse control. This is... interesting.
This weekend, I was hanging out with Janet on my bed. We were lounging. She has taken up this thing where every chance she gets, she calls me scary. Scary Mom. She tells people this liberally. I have heard her tell people at church. I hear talking to her friends. Yes, my mom is scary. What? My daughter is very complimentary. She loves to see the best in people. She is very sweet. That's not a hyperbole. People who know Janet need to understand that she is naturally sweet as a banana split sundae. I never understood how this is to be considering that I am NOT sweet. James was not that sweet either. So, for Janet to tell people that I'm scary, that's a lot!
So, Janet is on my bed and she tells me, "You're beautiful. You're smart. You're scary."
"I'm scary?" I ask.
"Yes, you're scary! You are scary mommy!"
"And you like this? You think this is good?" I ask.
"Yes, this is very good. I wish I was scary like you."
"Because it makes you strong. You are not a pushover."
Ah.... What my dear sweet daughter calls scary is my assertiveness. She understands that I am strong-willed. In our dialogue, it came out that she thinks I am exceedingly direct and honest in the fact that I don't lie. She told me that I was not mean when I told the truth but that I told it. As I hear my daughter tell me her image of me, I see that she admires these qualities of who I am. She likes that I'm scary. She tells me that my "scariness" makes her feel safe. My dear sweet girl needs to know that there is a parent who will provide structure. She needs to know that there is a lioness behind her who will have her back. So, I will gladly be scary for my children. I will continue to be who I am. I'm sure there is a better word for what I am than scary but I'll take it. I pray that I can always be scary for my kids.