Yesterday was a bad day. Yesterday Ben, my sweet exuberant boy, woke up on little-boy speed and never stopped. Hitting his baby sister, pouring hand soap on her head, coloring on my carpet with black permanent marker, per-ma-nent marker! He peed on the floor. Twice. When I was trying to get him and Clara out the door to Gymboree I went to put him in the car and found him a block down the street with the dog. He was beside me a minute ago. Wasn't he beside me a minute ago? Back in timeout. Back to your room. Again. Again. Again. All the while he's giggling and happily confessing with unashamed mischievous eyes.
Brandon, my teenager, who breaks my heart a little bit everyday. Home from the weekend with anger in his eyes. Grumbling. Disrespect. Annoyance. Constant annoyance. Every sentence a battle. I am the thing he dreads, the worst part of his day. Me. Whom he used to love. He did used to love me. I think I remember. I love him with a jagged, aching, infuriating love. My boy, who's not a man, but wants so desperately to be. How do I help him find his way? I am trying so hard. But I am failing again and again and again. I feel desperately inept.
All day I was frustrated. I was angry. At these boys that carry my heart in their pockets. The mischievous one, the angry one. Angry at my own inability to be the kind of parent that knows how to handle these things.
Lord, help me raise my boys to be men. Kind Men. Men with passion and purpose and who love you. Help me not to stifle the boy in them but show me how to channel it, this thing that is so foreign to me. Give me the patience and the wisdom I cannot find within myself. Help me.