It snowed in the Seattle area last week, which made me a little nostalgic so I went back into my snowy photo archives. I found this photo of Thomas, just after Ruthie hit him with a snow clump.
He was 21 months old, Ruthie was 3 1/2.
It’s funny to remember them at this age, because even back then Ruthie went out of her way to push his buttons, and even back then Thomas was quick to retaliate.
This same scenario plays out a thousand times in our home – Ruthie’s sin of provoking, Thomas’ sin of executing his own justice. It happens so often that I get lazy and just start barking at them to leave each other alone.
I tend to take my kids’ flaws personally, as if I somehow caused them to be this way or otherwise failed as a parent. In my rational mind I know this isn’t true, but emotionally I carry the weight of their sin on my own shoulders.
When I remind myself this is just how they are because we all sin, I’m able to slow down and shepherd them through repentance.
But all those other times? The yelling.