I think it is natural to like your own kids more than anyone else's. I mean (please), you carried them for nine (ten) months, birthed them, then sacrificed pretty much every moment of your day for them for as long as it took for them to become (sort of) self-sufficient. I also think it is somewhat natural to think your kids are smarter, cuter, and sweeter then most other people's kids. The faulty thinking starts to creep in when you begin to think that your kids are more saved than other people's kids.
I remember the first time I saw one way B and I had set Lee up for failure in the play date department. Because he was our first baby, and he was (of course) cuter, sweeter, and more adventurous then every other baby, we would lie on the floor and let him crawl all over us. And I mean all over us - the head, legs, torso. One morning, I met a new friend at a baby shower, and we found we had several things in common. Our kids aren't the same age, but we set up a play date and looked forward to seeing each other again. When we got there, my almost two-year-old son could not restrain himself from tackling and crawling all over her three-year-old daughter - the head was especially alarming to me. As soon as B returned home that evening, I informed him Lee could no longer climb on us this way. How was he to know who was off limits? And, guess what? He no longer does it. I just didn't think of it until I saw it.
But I still prided myself in the things that Lee did not do - things I heard about other kids doing during the terrible two's. You know, like coming out of their room all night, pitching a fit, grabbing toys, hitting anyone who grabbed their toys, etc. (If you don't se them yet, then wait.) I just thought we were by-passing all that stuff. What a great, easy kid! Not to mention the great job we were doing, right?
This was pretty much how things went until KW arrived. Clearly, behaviors began to surface much faster with a newborn and a newly two-and-one-half-year-old. Lee was - and still is - a grrrrreat! kid. He is simply like every other little one growing up in the world - he is learning his way, he doesn't know if he hasn't been told, and he has a mind of his own.
As I began to swallow my pride, the Enemy saw that my mind was fertile ground. I was uncertain, overwhelmed, and concerned every time I saw something that didn't fit with my idea of the "great" kid. Were these behaviors normal, or extreme? They sure felt extreme to me. Were other boys Lee's age acting the same way? I didn't really have many boys for him to play with on a regular basis, so I didn't really have any point for comparison. Trapped in the house by a finicky napper, my thoughts ran wild.
Enter Grace Moms. Grace Moms know that all kids have their own strengths and weaknesses. They know that each kid is going to exhibit different problem behaviors when they are together. None of them is perfect, and none of them is in the exact same place on their journey to being grown up. And all of them need Jesus. They are made my God, loved by God, and (hopefully) all will grow by leaps and bounds once they meet Him. But most (if not all) of them have not had that meeting yet.
Even more, Grace Moms have grace for each other. They are honest about their babies and help me figure out how to get through my own struggles as I am honest about mine. I am thankful for the Grace Moms in my life, who encourage me, laugh with me, cry with me, and let me mess up as I grow as a parent. They make the choice to love my kids, not because they came from their womb, but because they came from God's. We have the power to build each other up or tear each other down, and the last thing any of us wants to be is a tool for the Enemy. We all have the same ultimate dream for our children: that they will know their Savior.
Thank you, Grace Moms, for letting me love your little ones, as well.