My oldest and youngest making my heart explode
...I ask you to consider the tongue, which accepts the body and blood of Christ, the very door of the soul. The tongue is able to give glory to God. The tongue that takes a young child or child in your home, is able to build them up or destroy them.
- Father George Passias
From his homily, "The Tongue"
Why aren't you wearing a belt with those pants? They're falling off of you. I asked him, in my most accusatorial mom voice... in front of house guests. His eyes seethed with annoyance as they met my gaze. I could feel his embarrassment. I had embarrassed him.
Outside of my home, I am highly vigilant about filtering the words that spill out of my mouth, lest they ever even be misconstrued as hurtful or inappropriate. So why when it comes to my own children do I feel free to nit and pick, pick and nit, letting criticisms flow impulsively and unhindered? Who of us is inspired to grow and mature by exasperated sighs or micro-managing admonishments? The magnifying glass is not that nifty of a parenting tool after all. I should trade mine in for a boatload of consistency.
Starting right now, this afternoon, I will be praying, praying, praying for the strength to say "no" when need be - calmly, and mean it (that's hard for me), as well as for the discipline to reserve my words for the building up of my babies. God forbid, I tear them down! My kids are precious and loving and funny and creative, and struggle with the exact same vices I still struggle with every single day. Who better than their mother to demonstrate for them God's unlimited forgiveness and mercy?