I walked in from the garage to find Eva, my 7 year old, sitting there with a bloodied paper towel to her forehead. She saw me and started crying. I walked in and dropped my bags looking around for my husband while asking “What happened?”
It was a Friday and we had plans for the evening. The Weatherman asked the girls to start picking up their toys before I got home so that we might make a quick turnaround out the door and off to the Cider Mill. My 7 year old, always the big sister, asked our sweet Sofia to pick up her toys. Perhaps it was a matter of tone or a too short nap, but Sofia wasn’t so sweet in her response. She chucked her Minnie Mouse sippy cup perfectly at Eva’s head. The girl has an arm and a temper. And, now her sister has a divet in her beautiful, once flawless forehead. One day when she’s older and vanity wins over I’ll tell her it adds character.
I polled a few friends and decided the better response was a quick trip to urgent care – I was praying she wouldn’t need stitches but secretly believed that wasn’t the case. Fortunately, I was wrong this time around and we walked out about an hour later with three layers of medical grade super glue holding that precious forehead together and the promise of ice cream for dinner.
Our sweet Sofia was disciplined for her transgressions and apologies were offered. Violence is not an appropriate way to deal with one’s problems or irritants. Neither are temper tantrums.
But truth be told, I chuckled a bit. And maybe was a little jealous.
Sometimes I want to chuck a sippy cup too.
But my sippy cup might look more like a check book, or a day planner, or the puppy I pleaded for to get. It might look the bed that needs to be made or the laundry piling in my basket.
Sometimes I just want to chuck it all.
Sometimes I don’t want other people telling me what to do or having expectations for or of me.
But if violence and temper tantrums don’t work for a two year old; they most certainly won’t work for a 40 year old.
And so then that’s when I find myself needing room to breathe. Needing space. Blank space. Quiet space. And the first verse I ever designated as a “life verse” comes back to me:
Be still and know that I am God.
So tonight after fighting the kids at bedtime, or when everyone is running late tomorrow morning, take a moment to breathe. Close your eyes and hear Him. Take a breath in and focus on the stillness. Tune out the cries about bed time and homework folders. Exhale knowing that He is God. Exhale knowing that He is in control and it’s okay that you’re not.