Not too many days ago I was instructing my determined (read: stubborn) youngest daughter. She did not care for my instructions.
I don't actually remember what I was asking the spirited (read: strong willed) two year old to do or to stop doing, but I do distinctly remember her response.
Piper Finnian said, "I don't like you." And she spoke clearly. Very clearly. (She's a pretty good communicator. Maybe a little too good.)
I was really embarrassed. Really embarrassed.
Because I wasn't at my own house. The words were not spoken where only I had the displeasure of hearing. Nope. It never works that way - does it?
At that moment, I desperately wanted to parent based out of my embarrassment.
I wanted my parenting to show everyone watching me what type of mother I am.
That's a recurring theme to me, it seems.
I foolishly want my children's behavior to reveal something about me as their mother.
Right then, I wanted Piper's behavior to reveal that I am a good mom. A put-together mom. A mom in control. A mirage.
My Pride. Revealed. Again.
And actually, the truth is . . . Willow's behavior was reflecting my parenting. And reflecting me. Parenting in an imperfect world. By an imperfect parent.
It was exactly right. Piper's little attitude was reflecting truth.
What I wanted was misleading. A lie. A false representation.
And what I got, from the mouth of my persistent (read: obstinate) little girl, was a reminder that I need much too often.
I have to parent from something far more solid than my feelings. Something far more stable than my emotions.
I need to parent from what is true and right and pure. From what is reliable and secure.
And that isn't me.