Well this is a first. Not only am I blogging from my iPhone, but I am also blogging from McDonalds. I apologise in advance for any spelling or grammatical errors I miss on this tiny tiny screen.
So what has led me to this incongruous turn of events? Well in the last week Bailey’s behaviour has been less than perfect. In honest truth it’s been down right awful. So this morning after an excellent day and a successful swimming lesson, I have decided to reward him by taking him to McDonalds for lunch.
And yet all I can think is ‘what would Uncle Bruce say?’
Uncle Bruce is my husbands uncle and boss, and on a recent dinner visit, the subject of fast food came up. ‘You don’t give your kids that stuff do you?”
“no, not a lot,” was my honest reply.
Well of course since then, for whatever reason, Bailey has had more takeaway than usual. It’s usually at the shops, when it’s getting close to lunch time and I’m still not done, and all his patience and goodwill towards shopping has dissipated. Enter KFC and buy me another half hour. Besides it gives the added bonus of getting home and just putting him straight to bed, instead of making peanut butter sandwiches.
But good old Uncle Bruce has ruined it for me now. Every time I even smell chips I think ‘what would Uncle Bruce say?’
Whilst my husband finds this hilarious (and no doubt a relief to our bank account), I realise that there is too much that I am doing lately that is for the benefit of others. I like to think I’m authentic, and to a degree I am, but I find the balancing act of being respectful of other people, and honest with myself is a hard one. For instance, if you knew I was a Christian would you still read this?
And do I really want to know the answer?
If I talk about God am I being true to who I am? Or am I another one of the many bloggers out there who use this as a platform to preach to the masses?
I don’t want to be like that, but I do want to be real, no matter how hard that can be at times.
Taylah and I have been talking about this exact issue lately. It seems that for whatever reason, when her friends start being bitchy, she is the one who cops it. Probably because of her kind and forgiving nature. At times she is obviously tempted to be nasty back, but she’s not, because she knows that’s not the best way. Right is right even when no one is doing it, and wrong is wrong even when everyone else is doing it.
But I realise now that while I am excellent at handing out the advice, I need to be practicing what I preach. After all, more in parenting is caught, than taught.
This morning at MacDonalds (I’m home now. Gave up after a little girl named Kayla decided to tell me her life story. Can’t you see I’m blogging?), I actually made a little boy cry. I didn’t mean to, but he snatched Bailey’s happy meal toy off him, and refused to give it back. He was adamant it was his, and I had to pull it out of his hand because there was no way he was handing it over. So then he stood there and cried, and looked at me out of these big brown eyes, like I was the meanest person in the whole wide world. I tried telling him to go ask his mum, but instead he just stood there and wailed.
I felt kind of bad. He obviously honestly thought the toy was his, but what could I do? He had snatched it fair and square, and I was only being a protective mummy.
Minutes later, my dear little Bailey popped up with a second toy, and gave it to the boy. He had seen the tears, understood the problem and fixed it. I was so proud of him in that moment, because he showed compassion. For the rest of the time there, he played with this little boy (who continued to give me daggers incidentally), and told me on the way home, that he played with him because he was sad.
There are so many hard moments in parenting. So many arguments, and tantrums, and tears (and that’s just from me!), that when the beautiful moments appear, we need to grab them and treasure them for what they’re worth. Bailey is like that, because I am like that. Because my Christianity has made me a better person, and it continues to make me a better person. That’s not something to hide from; that’s something to embrace.
I’m not going to preach from my blog, but I am going to be authentic, and if people don’t like that, that’s ok. I don’t want to live my life worrying out what other people think or say. Including Uncle Bruce.
This is me. Just Jess, just trying to be real.
And I hope that’s ok.