Since coming home over two years ago, Conner and I have had a completely different relationship than the one he has with his dad. Timothy calls it “structure vs. nurture,” and while they play made-up games together and go on adventures, Conner and I talk, read, cuddle, or go on walks. Conner and daddy have a lot of fun boy time; Conner also decided long ago that mommy was going to be the one he let his true emotions show with. Conner often tests boundaries with me on a daily basis— arguing, tantrum, etc., and with consistency and as much patience as I muster, I navigate through those with him with boundaries and firmness; grace and accountability. Today Conner had a pretty epic “getting out the door” tantrum. I asked him, “Conner, why do you throw tantrums with mommy?” And he said “Because I want you to go be with another family.” (😭Ouch.)
After he said that, he sobbed his little heart out— it’s like he knew it was an unkind thing to say and he didn’t mean it, so I just sat there and drove and let him regulate. Then he asked between tears, “Do you still love me? Am I a bad boy every day?” (😭😭😭— because he has been getting in trouble at school lately). And we took some time together in the parking lot of his preschool to calm down, I reminded him how much I love him, we prayed together and I spoke words of life over him, and I told him that no matter what he ever said or did, I would always love him.
Then I dropped him off at school, drove away, and cried a few tears myself before getting it all together and ready to enter my own classroom. This stuff is the hard stuff. The things that I’m not prepared for as a parent so I navigate through with as much love and grace as I can muster up in those moments, and then pour an extra big cup of coffee and douse myself in Stress Away. 😉