Sunday, January 18, 2015

Midnight Snack

"Mama!  Dada!  My neck is hurting!"  
The words weaved their way into my dream.  What was Drew doing on the beach complaining about his neck, I wondered as I drifted back to the scene in my mind. 
"Mama!" he said again, this time through tears.
I jolted awake.  "What's wrong, my love?"  I asked.  I looked at the clock.  12:32 AM.  
"My neck is hurting," he said again.  
Still fuzzy, I stared ahead and hoped that this really was a dream.  My husband, though, was ready to help.  
"C'mon over here, buddy.  Snuggle up and tell me what we can do to help your neck," he said.  Our three year old walked over to his side of the bed and climbed up into my husband's waiting arms.
"Well, I think I should probably have some breakfast," he said as he leaned against his daddy.  He hopped off the bed and marched toward the kitchen.  "You get the milk and I'll get the cereal!"
I waited for the inevitable, "No, buddy it's time for bed" but instead I heard, "Sure, bud."  My husband fed him a bowl of cereal then took him upstairs and snuggled in his bed until he fell asleep.  

My heart was overcome with love for my husband in that moment.  I can be hard on him sometimes for being tough on the boys - I know intellectually that his job is to help them become men but, as a mother, it is sometimes hard to understand.  In these moments of sweetness and nurturing, I am reminded that it's all about balance.  Relationships are centered around deposits and withdrawals.  He can be hard on them because they are so secure in his love for him.  He can expect so much of them because they want to please him more than anything in the world.  He has earned their love and their respect.  And they will be great men because he already is.

Moms, do you ever struggle with your husband being tough on your children?  I encourage you to look for the "deposits" rather than the "withdrawals".  Let him know what he's doing right.  I assure you, it will help you both.

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