Ok, so the word is out: I was wild when I was a kid. Or maybe I should pass the buck a little, and say that my brothers, sister and I were wild when we were young.
I was the youngest of five, but my next oldest sibling, my brother, is three years older than I but kind of a sickly child, so we were well matched physically. That translates to this: we had the best of fights, competitions, games, and what-not.
We loved playing football – not the sissy kind, but real live tackle football. We played all summer and fall, but winters were long and cold in PA, a little too cold for playing football in the snow. We were not daunted, however – we merely played tackle football in the living room!
It was the The Great Tournament: Spaghettis VRS Meatballs! First there was the kick…a real football kicked across the living room! Then there was the run, the juke, and the tackle…and the CRASH! Oh, no! Mom’s glass globe to her cute porcelein lamp was shattered into a zillion different pieces! Glass was everywhere!
Looking back, the strangest thing of it all was that another globe merely appeared a few days later…only to be broken again as a casualty of another rousing game of Spaghetties VRS Meatballs! I have no idea how many globes Mom went through in those years, nor where she was while we were playing those noisy games, but I never remember being confronted about our wild behavior!
And that’s not an isolated incident. I couldn’t possibly tell all the things that happened while my mother was “busy” doing something else as I was growing up. I’m sure she had many great projects; in fact, she got her master’s degree during that time period. But she was distracted, and we got wild.
So my point is this: if we were allowed to run wild at that young age, what would have happened if we were young now? Things have changed an awful lot since I was young in the 70s. It wasn’t a very holy time then, but it’s surely gotten a lot worse now!
Rest assured, your child will find something to do if he’s bored and you’re distracted. And it may not be something you want him to be doing.
Think: Distracted Mother = Wild Child
We can be distracted from our primary tasks as wives and mothers quite easily. Here are a few ideas to help us overcome our own tremendous ability to distract ourselves:
1. Recognize that we ARE easily distracted! Maybe this is a no-brainer, but I like to think of myself as a competent person, who has a great ability to focus. Unfortunately, it’s this very quality that can be the most dangerous – we have many abilities, and we are curious about many things. What ends up happening is that our family suffers as we pursue our interests.
2. Ask God to help us continue to keep our priorities straight. This is a key element, and one that I often overlook. God has omnipotent power, and He is quite willing to give us the strength to do His Will. It is definitely in our best interest if we seek His Face concerning our own shortcomings.
3. Understand the ramifications if we persist in our own pursuits. Do we really want to have wild children? Remember that “He that delicately bringeth up his servant from a child
shall have him become his son at the length.” (Proverbs 29:21) As mothers, we’re have the power (and responsability) to train up our children to live for the Lord and for others. Otherwise, we end up with selfish, wild, unruly children.
I have no idea how many tournaments of the Spaghettis VRS Meatballs I may have won, but I remember the glass everywhere. And I think often to myself how much “broken glass” I could have avoided in my adult life had I not been allowed to be so incredibly wild!
What do you think? Have you ever gotten into anything while your mom was busy?
Have your kids?
How can we overcome our tendency to be distracted?