I’ve been battling my 11 year old. Please don’t tell me to “wait until she’s 13”, right now I can’t even conceive of either one of us making it to 13. If it is intended to be helpful and encouraging, can I be so blunt as it say, “It is neither!” If you want to be helpful and encouraging, bring me coffee, remind me of her good points because right now it is really hard to see them.
I’ve battled her “know-it-all” attitude. The attitude says, “I am growing up. I am miles ahead of my sister. I am God‘s gift to this family.” The attitude that says, “you really can’t tell me anything new, because, honey, I wrote the book on new. I’m so smart they took intelligent out of the dictionary and replaced it with my picture!” The attitude that says, “I’m perfect and everyone else is sub-par.”
Last night I was wondering why it seems to have gotten especially bad lately. God gently spoke to my soul and said, “She’s 11.” It’s not like I had forgotten how old she was, but in that one whispered phrase He reminded me of her at 3, 5, 7, and 9. Those are odd ages in more ways than one. When this child was 2 she was a breeze, the day after she turned 3 she turned into a nightmare. Ditto for 5, 7 and yes 9. So 11 is the next “odd” age.
Some of it also is she’s 11 and growing up, wanting to try her wings and see if she can fly. Right now she can’t very far but she thinks she can fly around the world. I find it very hard to want to give her freedom when she throws these attitudes around and when they only get worse with added freedom.
Can I be so bold and so blunt as to say, sometimes while I love her to death with every fiber of my being, I really don’t particularly like her? I know I’m not alone in that as an older friend told me of a time she fell into bed and told her husband, “I don’t like our son.” I told that to Mr. FullCup once and he was a little shocked.
I wonder what God thinks? I know I can spiritually act like she does. I know He doesn’t flop into bed and declare, “I really don’t like her!” I know that.
I know God is the perfect parent but does He ever get exasperated by my failings? Does He ever wish He could take me “down a peg or two”?
I know He says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love…when you were still sinners….I will finish every good work I start, so come to me when you’re tired and burdened and I will give you rest.”