April 1, 2015
Humility in the beets.
Goodness me, I need to retitle this blog: How Not to be a Dumb Mom.
Either that or I need to give everyone a broom to knock me down off my high horse when I'm about to ride off into the sunset of "thinking I'm awesomeness."
But in this case, the humility came in the form of beets...and a certain 7-year-old girl who didn't want to eat them.
OK, time to back up and tell the story....
Once upon a time (last night), there was a mom who was tired (me), AND it was dinnertime (daddy was at a workout). I actually made something other than steamed veggies and chicken for a change: I made my beautiful children a beautiful meal (tacos, homemade sweet potato fries, and roasted carrots/beets in an orange marmalade) thinking my kids would love and appreciate the change-up. Well, who was I kidding, I knew they'd hate the beets. But I had to use them up before they went to waste. 'Cause I hate wasting food.
Anyway, dinner started out pretty good. Since it's Holy Week we said our prayers nice and slooow and proceeded to dive in. Wanting my kids to eat da beets and learn a little about sacrifice, I told them that I knew they hated them but they had to eat them anyway - that this was an ultimate Holy Week sacrifice to show Jesus how much we love Him. And that by doing so we would earn treasures in heaven.
Dude, they were almost excited about it.
Since I thrive on quiet (and desperately needed some silence at this point) we had a "silent dinner." I told them about a retreat I once went on when I couldn't talk for three days. So I set my timer and the rule was "no talking for two minutes." AMAZING. When the 2 minutes were up they wanted to do it again and this time I told them to listen in their hearts for what Jesus is telling them because He only speaks when we're silent.
After the next two minutes I asked Levi what Jesus told him. He said "Jesus told me to eat my beets."
I then pulled out a little crucifix and set it on the table for our last 2-minute silent stretch. I told the kids they had to eat their beets by the end of the two minutes and if they hated them to look at Jesus and tell Him that they're doing it because they love Him. Boys rocked it, but Avila??? Not so much.
I mean her little heart was in the right place but she just worked her little self up so much about those stupid beets. She would take the tiniest nibble and gag and well up with tears, attempting to get out of it.
To make a long, gaggy story short, she puked. Yup. She started hyperventilating or something, stuck a beet in her mouth (and by a beet I mean 1/10 of a beet) and then lost her marbles (i mean her sweet potato fries). It was so not awesome. And by so not awesome I mean how I reacted. I was already on edge and I got super mad and I probably just screwed the whole holiness lesson I was attempting to instill in them in the first place. Sucky mom for the win.
Fast forward 30 minutes, past the cleaning up and the crying and the yelling and the putting Lola to bed, to my bedtime snuggles with Avila. We hugged, cried, reconciled, and we both apologized a million times. Me more so than her. Because, c'mon, I'm the adult right? I should've held my cool but I didn't and, well, God sure served me some humble (beet) pie.
It's funny how lessons are learned. I was all proud of myself for doing something so awesome at dinner: turning a hard thing into a sacrifice, getting the kids excited about doing what saints did (aka: choosing the hard simply for Jesus), being all holy and stuff. But then, in an instant, God reminded me that it's not about what I do, but rather about what HE does. The dinner we had really was beautiful but when I tried to take all the credit and puff out my chest things turned ugly. Such a reminder that life isn't a perfect package...that I'm not the one in charge...that (even when things fall apart) I shouldn't lose my cool.
Or perhaps I just shouldn't serve beets for dinner.