Download PDF

It was 94 degrees and beautiful.  An angel could not have helped my angel look any better than she did.  The friends, the family, the church, all was perfect.  I looked deep into her eyes and said…, “I do.”  I will tell you this.  Other than my decision to accept Jesus Christ’s death on the cross as payment for my sins and just ahead of having kids and getting DVR it was the best decision I’ve ever made.

HOWEVER…I had no idea what I was saying, “I do” …to.  I repeat.  When I said, “I do” I had no idea what I was saying “I do”…to.  Oh, I thought I did.  Marriage, a life together, having kids, good times, bad times, sickness and health.  You know.  All that kind of stuff.  The reality is what has happened in the past 13 and a half years could not have been predicted, explained, or prepared for me to endure.  Allow me to give you a quick quick snapshot.

No.  I am not using Trey having cancer as a reference.  I am not even going to relive my years of ministry and the stories within.  Nope.  Not going to talk about my current career search/refinement/calling.  No, these are all too big and obvious and specific to me.  I’m going to go over one evening of being a parent…that’s all.  Even if you aren’t a parent, you will be able to identify and follow.

**Disclaimer pt. 1.  What follows is obviously part of a much bigger picture and ongoing story.  Trey battling cancer and anyone else that crosses his path, Bella being the middle child, and Joe learning the fine line between standing up for himself and being mean.  There is a huge back story to each that would take pages to fill.  We are on it.  This is simply a snapshot of one moment, one night, one bed time.

So, last night I was taking Trey up for his bath.  he was three steps up the stairs when I stopped to check the Penguins score.  Fifteen seconds later I feel a sharp pain on the side of my head.  Trey has whipped a hard sharp plastic toy (not even out of anger…actually I have no idea why) and it has cranked off of my dome.  Checking for blood I stomp on the toy trying to break it…and fail.  I pick it up to snap it…and cut my hand, aaaand it doesn’t break.  I go into the kitchen and throw it away.  By the time I get back to Trey (who is in time out) I am “fine.”  I calmly explain that he hurt daddy, he apologizes, I forgive and kiss him.  We go upstairs.  In the tub I tell Trey not to drink the bath water, he does.  I given him some toys, he drinks out of them.  I tell him not to drink the bath water…again.  He looks me in the eyes, drinks the soapy water, and swallows it.  I tell him bath time is over, he protests.  I remain super calm.  I am entering the super reserved zone not detaching from all emotion, just in super control.  I know that this is a test, a challenge, a spiritual attack if you are of that ilk.  Whatever, I’m not losing it.

Now, Bella, Joe, and Rachel come upstairs for prayer and bedtime.  We wrangle Trey into bed.  Joe and Bella are arguing over Joe not allowing Bella to read his new book.  Bella had not let Joe read her new book a couple of months ago.  Joe is not reading it but doesn’t agree to let Bella read it anyhow.  Bella begins to whine and won’t let it go.  Rachel tells her to fold her hands and get ready to pray.  Bella growls and throws a book across the room.  I dismiss her to her room ( she does not like missing prayer time even though we will pray with her in her room in just moments).  As we pray Trey does his almost nightly destructive disruptive behavior routine (repeating other peoples prayers, jumping on his bed, throwing things, singing loudly etc.) while Bella is yelling from her bedroom.  We finish praying (I focused on God being all loving/forgiving and thanking Him for forgiving us for our sins, especially me for being angry with Trey).  I do Trey’s bedtime routine (as he continues to act out) while I remain in my super chill “can’t touch me” zone.  I go to Joe and ask him why he didn’t rise above and just let her read his book, he says he has no idea.  We have a good bed time and I go to Bella.

I enter her room and explain to her quickly that today she got everything she wanted (way too long of a story to tell now) and that she earned her punishment all on her own.  She began to blame Trey for taking her seat on the couch…that morning (mind you she had taken toys from him and Joe many times that very afternoon and evening).  So I quickly left the room which causes her to lose it (missing her individual bed time routine is catastrophic for her).  I relent and go back.  I calmly say to her, “Don’t speak…don’t say a word.”  I lay down next to her and begin to stroke her hair.  I have been taught that “perfect love” is the antidote for fear, and that forgiveness is the antidote for anger.  After 10 seconds and just as I am getting ready to pray for her she says ever so calmly, “You obviously don’t like me or love me.”  I get up, leave the room and go downstairs, she LOSES IT.

Meanwhile, Trey who is combating Rachel through his bed time routine begins to yell at Bella, “STOP CRYING!”  Rachel, who has been told (not last night…other times) that she doesn’t love Bella…by Bella, reminds her that you simply can’t say words like that to someone and leaves the room (she had completed her routine with her before I had gone in).  Once downstairs I say to Rachel, “I didn’t lose it.”  She tells me that I did all I could and that Bella has to learn.  The upstairs is basically on fire between Bella flipping out and Trey yelling at her to stop flipping out.  Bella comes to the top of the stairs and asks to be grounded from the computer for a week in exchange for her routine.  Before I can answer Rachel tells her to go to bed.  I look at Rachel and ask if I should go back upstairs and she simply says, “She has to learn that there are some things you can’t say to people.”  We shake our heads and simply say…when we said I do, we had no idea what we were saying I do…to.

**Disclaimer pt. 2.  Bella normally gets up to use the bathroom when Rachel and I are going to bed.  She did again last night, we hugged her, and I prayed for her and sang her lullaby for her.

I had no idea what I was saying I do to, but I’m glad that I knew then as I know now that God is bigger than my trials, tribulations, tragedies, anddddd tantrums.  I hope and pray that you know that too.

Share This