Ok, before you judge me too harshly you can’t tell me you haven’t thought it, dreamt it, or done it. Losing a kid is like the worst nightmare a parent could have I think.
Unless of course you are my wife who still dreams that Aniston (now 3 years old) is falling out of our bed (which she’s never slept in), off my side (again she’s never slept in), and proceeds to lunge across the bed to catch her only to realize midair that it’s a dream and she’s about to land on her sleeping husband…again.
It was funny the first time, terrifying the second, and now the only thing I can hold over her head because she is virtually perfect.
But all of us…I repeat all of us as parents have the fear of losing or leaving their kid somewhere. Especially if you have more than one! I don’t know how that Dugger Family (aka Baby Making Machines) do it. They must leave handfuls of kids everywhere they go for crying out loud! I be they just pin little baggies of change on all of them to make calls back home when it happens.
My fear is that I will get Aniston all strapped in and leave Easton strapped in his carseat on the driveway or still in the cart at Target. I fast forward the story in my mind to when I realize I did it and how quickly I hope the police arrest me before Cherie get’s a hold of me and kills me.
The only thing that gives me any semblance of peace is that even Jesus got forgotten by his parents. Yep…you heard me right.
Check it out…
“Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. hen they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” Luke 2:41-48
The reason this encourages me is that even if I leave Easton in the dressing room at the mall I can always say “atleast I didn’t’ lose God!”
It also I believe is such a reminder from God Himself that we should not take ourselves as parents so seriously. We need to realize that just because we have a small human developing under our care and depending on us for their very existence we can’t think we won’t screw up.
We will…believe me our parents did too and we made it through only casually scarred.
Not only do we need to remind ourselves of that truth, but our kids need to see that too. The need to know we aren’t perfect and need the forgiveness of God just as much as anyone else.
Sometimes the best conversations we can have with our kids is the conversation that starts off “Daddy or Mommy really screwed up and I need your forgiveness for…”
The honesty and transparency we demonstrate in our life will be more impactful than showing them how to change the oil in the car or how to walk in high heals. The habit of walking humbly and actively seeking God’s forgiveness is setting our kids up for a stronger relationship with God and us as their parents with every honest screw up we openly admit.
So whether you cut a guy off in traffic or forget a kid at a Sox game have the courage to admit you screwed up, ask for forgiveness, and remind your kids atleast you didn’t lose God.