Calvin is like me in so many ways, both the good and the bad (minus his looks since he is 100% Nick). I think the reason why I am exhausted a lot is because I am dealing with my replica all day and we butt heads and talk each others ears off. I love Calvin more than I can put into words and although I know he was put into my life to sanctify me I have always felt like a failure with raising him.
My sweet blue eyed boy was a very needy baby (as I have written in earlier posts) and a even more needy toddler. He was just like me (according to my mom) and I am so thankful to have my mom by my side as I go through each challenging stage with him. I know that there are so many developmental and physical stages a child goes through monthly, but with Calvin he likes to give me a little extra each month.
I've realized that while having a baby is difficult because you run on little sleep and are always changing diapers, raising a toddler is just as difficult. What I say, my reactions, my reasoning, and my discipline are all things that Calvin takes in and absorbs. I see him do little things daily and can see myself reflected in him: like when I go to the bathroom and he says "Oh wow, great job, I'm so proud of you, you get an M&M".
Today though, I felt like a failure. During swim lessons this morning I had to jump in the pool while holding Max in my carrier because Calvin did NOT listen to his swim instructor. He knows he needs to wait his turn on the steps until his instructor gives him a turn, and we remind him every single time before class to obey. Still, he chose not to. With a smirk on his face he jumped off the step and into the pool while his teacher was working with another kid and I knew he wouldn't get there in time so I reacted fast and jumped in. After making him sit out for a couple minutes and explaining again, calmly, why it is unsafe to do so I warned him if he disobeyed again we would go home. Two minutes later...TWO...he did it again and I swept him up fast and we went home. I was drenched, twice. I was embarrassed. I was tired. I was frustrated that he was making me feel like this.
I cried in the car because I thought I was doing everything right. I follow through with what I tell him his consequences will be. I get down to his level when speaking to him. I am firm. I give him attention throughout the day, etc. but he still chooses to test me. Even though I know he is a sinner, like myself, I can't help but feel like a failure as a mom. It is my job (and Nick's) to teach him right from wrong and when he chooses to disobey it hurts me. It hurts me because I know he is capable of making the right decision.
I am learning each day how to be a better parent to the boys. There are lots of things I did with Calvin that I won't do with Max and in many ways, Calvin is my guinea pig.
On days like today, I am thankful for grace. I am thankful that despite all my best efforts, and even with my worst efforts and in my failure, it is only by the grace of God that I am able to raise these boys into men. I feel like a failure today, but because of Christ's righteous life and atoning death, all of my sins and failings are forgiven. It's done. Finished. There are many times when I feel like all of my best efforts to raise him in a way that is glorifying to God is all for nothing, but I also know that he is just mine on loan. He belongs to God and the best thing I can do for him is to pray for His salvation and pray that God would give us patience and wisdom to raise both he and Max.