Not Foolin' Anybody--esp. not my own kids

It's good for me to be humiliated. Sure, it doesn't feel good. But it definitely exposes my pride.

See, I would be a very annoying person if I'd only given birth to Jewel. I would have no sympathy for the mothers wrestling their shrieking children in the grocery stores. I would sniff at the woes of parents who say things like: "I think I'm going crazy."

If Jewel had been my only parenting experience, I would think I had this parenting thing down pat.

But God, knowing better than I, saw fit to send me James, if only for my own perfection and daily humiliation.

James is one of those kids who sees right through all my facades.

"Mommy, _______ is a bad word. Why did you just say it?"

"Because we almost got hit by an idiotic driver."

"Mommy, why did you just call that driver idiotic? I thought we weren't supposed to call people names."

Once again, I feel myself blushing. Yes, I can either admit that I was wrong or I can justify my bad behavior.

"You're right, son. That was wrong of me to say. It was sinful. Will you forgive me?"

The first few times I had to apologize to my kids, I choked on the words. I wanted to be the parent that never screwed up, that never made a mistake. It was really hard for me to admit that sometimes I was getting it wrong. It's getting easier to apologize. Mostly because I have to do it so much.

"Yeah, I forgive you!" James says. And he means it. The kid never carries a grudge, nor does he dredge up the past to remind me of my failures.

I think God gave me James to teach me that true love means accepting each other despite our weaknesses and failures.

It was God's way of saying, "You will fail. But that's OK. I still love you."

Which, strangely enough, is exactly what I say to my kids. Yep, they fail. They mess up. But I still love them.