Blogger seems to think I don't need paragraphs today. Hope this isn't too hard to read!
"My back aches.
My pack's too tight.
My booty shakes from the left to the right.
From the left, to the right.
From the left and to the right."
Those are the words of a silly song I once sang from within the mountains of Colorado. My dear high school friends and I went on a five-day backpacking trip through Young Life. It was the summer before our Senior Year. (1995 for inquiring minds.)
Now we were only 17, so I highly doubt our backs really ached. However, I do remember blisters and thinking that my backpack really was a tad too heavy and a bit tight.
I don't remember how many miles we covered, but I do remember we reached our destination.
The conditions weren't always perfect, but we had fun. We slowly worked toward our goal and enjoyed doing it.
I recalled this trip today as I worked in the kitchen. The older children are at Mother's Day Out. As with any morning we need to be somewhere at a certain time, I can get a bit anxious and frustrated when no one else has shares my sense of urgency.
So when, moments before we were to leave, I found Ann and Chris hiding under blankets in my bedroom, I simply barked orders.
"Don't hide right now!"
"We don't have time for this."
"Don't make a mess in this room!"
"Hurry up and find your socks and shoes."
"Let's go. Let's go. Right now!"
It doesn't quite have the same ring to it as the Backpacking Song, now does it?
As I drove them to "school," I replayed the morning's events in my head. I could have chosen a different way to respond this morning. I suppose I could have song a song, but more realistically, I could have been playful.
"Where are you?" I could have called.
I could have laughed when they giggled from beneath the blankets. They would have probably begged to hide again, and I could have said they could as soon as we got back home.
Then we could have raced down the stairs to get shoes and coats.
There are many other positive ways I could have encouraged their cooperation this morning. Sure, it might have taken more energy and creative thinking. And, yes there is a time to expect their immediate obedience. But I don't think running a few minutes late to a Mother's Day Out program qualifies as one of those situations. The Lord doesn't run around barking orders at me. Why should I do that to my children?
Hiking through the mountains takes a lot of energy. Parenting takes more. Just like we were going to eventually end up back at base camp, I was likely going to eventually get the kids to school.
It would have been a lot more fun if I'd done it with a "song."