This is the image my family tends to project at Christmas.
Sometimes, the reality is more zany and snuggly like this:But a lot of the time, like this morning, it's more like this:
Minus any hint of a smile on my face.
When Jake threw a pen at Molly this morning in anger, I went all Linda Blair on him. I started screaming and ordered him to his room. When he gave me a shocked, angry, defiant look on his way up the stairs, I even grabbed him by the collar and yelled some more. Nice.
Molly told me later that she got caught in a stream of spit coming out of my mouth as I screamed. After I sent them off to school-- Isn't it nice to start their day on such a positive note? You're welcome, teachers!-- I had time to think about what kind of example I was setting.
My anger at his getting angry was about 100 times more intense than his was, minus the flying object. Any message I was trying to send him about self-control was lost in my own venomous rage.
I was really probably pissed because I hadn't had any caffeine, I was freaked about how much I was going to spend at Costco later ($400 to be exact), and I was feeling pressured to pick the "perfect" family Christmas card photo that captured us in all our adorableness. Hmmm.
I used the teachable moment to apologize, explain the irony of the situation (former English teachers like to get that in when we can), give hugs, and ask for forgiveness. All is back to red-plaid "perfection" in the See household again.
For all of us who have screamed at our kids seconds before pulling into the church parking lot, huffed and puffed around our "too small" houses while lamenting our kids' stubbornness and lack of gratitude, and any others who fall short on a daily basis--
I wish a Christmas of Peace, from the Prince of Peace, who loves us no matter what.