Not so, although my husband reports that our son is just fine when I am not around. For some reason, he has quite a lot to protest while I am with him. I know, having been around toddlers for many years, this will pass. And I know that some of his behavior might be the consequence of interrupted naps and boredom from time to time. But I started reflecting upon what his behavior might tell me about my own behavior and attitude.
While on vacation, my husband and I enjoyed time to play, to pray, to rest, to eat. I was so very grateful for simple pleasures, like only getting myself ready for the day, or relaxing by the pool without worrying about little ones. I noticed that it was so much easier to only deal with one other personality on the trip, rather than six on a daily basis. As an introvert, I enjoyed my time to myself while my husband went golfing. It was easy to be grateful and joyful and prayerful and at peace. After a few days back at home, I noticed how cranky I am and easily irritated at everyone else’s demands, emotions, needs. It is like I am my own two-year-old son: happy as a clam when I receive ‘easy’ graces, but unappreciative and ill-tempered when the graces are ‘difficult’. It seems that I tell my Father “no”, or “You’re mean” when my will is not done, or life gets more uncomfortable than I would like.
It’s funny, though, that while on vacation, my husband and I seemed to notice all the times kids were around, watching them enjoy a late dinner at a taqueria after a Little League game, or observing them while at Mass. I knew in my heart that as much as I enjoy my quiet time, God’s will is for me to be with my little ones. My prayer is that I remain joyful when I do not get my way, or when my plans are interrupted. Hopefully I, too, will grow out of this cranky phase in the arms of my Blessed Mama, or at least trust that I am loved as such. In the book In the Arms of Mary by S.C. Biela, I am grateful for this reminder:
“The Lord does not have to explain to His subject why He gives him ‘candies’ or nourishes him with ‘bitterness’.
who is Love,
will never ask why?
Mary did not ask this question,
neither during the Annunciation,
nor at the foot of the Cross of her Son….
If you believe
that in everything that God does
there is an expression of His love,
you may not expect special explanations.
You may not analyze
why sometimes you were particularly honored
and at other times – divested of everything.”
(S.C. Biela, In the Arms of Mary, (Fort Collins, CO: IAMF, 2005), 148, 149.)
I see that I so often want what I want, and that there is unhappiness when I don’t get it, just as with my son. But I am looking out for my little one (ie. avoiding too much sugar, getting enough rest, learning to share), just as my Father is looking out for me:
Perhaps, when you hear God calling, you do not realize how much He wants to bestow on you. By proposing to you His own will, He desires to free you from all of your wounds, disappointments, and difficulties, which are the result of seeking your own will. When you agree to let go of the steering wheel of your life and hand it over to a Father who loves you, then you will be freed from many fears and stress, as well as from the torment of responsibility, which flows from the faith you have in yourself. (S.C. Biela, Open Wide the Door to Christ, (Fort Collins, CO: IAMF, 2005), 150.)