The house was still and quiet. We had finally finished evening chores, put the boys to bed, and my hubby and I had just sat down in the living room. Before too long, we heard the tell tale pitter-patter of little feet coming down the hallway. "Momma, I want to snuggle."
Sigh. It was bedtime, we told him not to get up. I tried to rationalize with him.
"But buddy, it's bedtime. You are tired after a busy, busy day."
By now he is at my feet.
"But momma, I want to snuggle."
I gave him "the look" that ordered him back to bed, but he crawled into my lap.
"I need to snuggle momma."
So I wrapped my arm around him and we talked about his day. Then I asked him if he'd like to work on learning his letters because he's been so interested in them lately. Sure enough, he was thrilled to. So I grabbed his letter flashcards and we worked our way through them. After we had finished he was ready to go back to bed, I tucked him in, and he went to sleep.
You know what? I'm a softie mom.
We told him it was time for bed.
We told him goodnight.
We told him not to get up.
And then he got up.
And I snuggled rather than enforce the rules.
Because sometimes parenting is as much about grace as it is the rules. The rules, the books, and the speakers all may say the best thing to do is set the routine and enforce the rules, but they don't always take love and grace into account.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. -1 Corinthians 13:4-8a
Sometimes love says a boundary must be enforced for their good.
And sometimes love says grace is in order for their good.
mercy; clemency; pardon
favor shown in granting a delay or temporary immunity
Could he have been manipulating to delay bedtime? Possibly. But for now I don't think so.
Love said grace was in order because he needed his momma.
And grace was in order because he is growing up so quickly. Three short years ago he was not even a month old yet. Three short years later he is begging to learn his letters and starting to get a few right when we work through flash cards.
Where did my baby go?
In parenting, sometimes love says grace is in order for their good.
Grace recognizes that time flies--that even the frustrating moments won't last forever. That they'll be grown and gone in a few short years. That in some moments, they need us rather than rules.
And in doing so, grace gives us the opportunity to tuck another sweet memory into our hearts. I won't mourn my children's growth, but I know that the lasts come quickly. Someday he won't ask to snuggle . . . and I don't want to pass up the last because I was tired.
So last night, we snuggled. And I don't regret it. I don't mind being a softie mom, sometimes they just need grace.