(Note: Some parts of the following story may be exaggerated.)
This morning was rough.
Part of the blame lies with me. I stayed up until 1:30 finishing a book, so I was pretty miserable at 6:15 when Sam came wandering into our room yelling, “Daddy?! Daddy!! Momma?! Momma!!” I rolled over toward Liz and tried to guilt her into getting up with the boy but she wasn’t having it. She mumbled something about being nine months pregnant. (I think she might be faking it.)
I reluctantly rolled out of bed, shoved my glasses on my face, and Sam and I headed to the kitchen for breakfast. Today I was tired and feeling like a lazy daddy, so breakfast consisted of some Cheerios and a banana. Sam thought I was taking too long peeling his banana, which he let me know through a series of grunts and screams, so I threw a sock full of nickels at him and told him to keep quiet or there’d be more where that came from. He retaliated with a swift kick to my adam’s apple (kid’s got skillz) and then hurried to get in his chair so he could eat.
I brought him the food, we thanked Jesus for it, and he asked for some milk. When I went to get it, he again got impatient, and started yelling at me. “Hurry up, sapsucker!” he screamed, shooting me dirty looks and drumming his tiny fingers on the table. When I got it to him (in a perfectly reasonable amount of time, despite what he may tell you), he chugged it like a frat boy at a keg party and threw his empty cup across the room. I got onto him, and as I bent down to pick up the cup, I heard the unmistakable sound of a thousand Honey Nut Cheerios hitting the floor. I looked up to see a devilish grin on his face. He stared at me, unblinking, and whispered, “Your move, fat man. What’s it gonna be?”
I was so mad. I could feel my heart rate go up. My jaw set, my fists clenched, I sighed heavily. And then God ruined my bad mood…
In the middle of my anger, I remembered God. I thought about how the Bible says that God is our heavenly father and how often he must get frustrated with me. That doesn’t mean Sam got off the hook- I still made time to throw our “punishment marbles” at him- but after I dealt with Sam and we got our morning back on track, I said a little prayer, thanking God for his patience.
Every day, I throw my cup and spill my Cheerios and make a mess, but God, in his infinite wisdom and patience, corrects me, loves me, and graces me. (Yeah, that’s right. I used “grace” as a verb. It’s my blog. I can do that.) And for that, I’m thankful, and it really sets a great example for me.