pants on fire

pants on fire

I caught Ruthie in another lie today, that sneaky one.

The kids don’t have school today (when DO they have school these days?!), and she’s been snuggled up in my bed watching cartoons – the benefits of being an early-rising daughter of a non-morning person mom.

I walked in to sort some laundry and pick up a little, and after awhile she says to me in a suspiciously polite voice, “Mom, I really want some alone time now.”

I chuckled a little, and was all, really? The morning’s got you down?

But when I came around the other side of the bed I noticed one of her hands underneath the covers. Awkwardly. As mothers we all know this is a sure sign that not all is as it seems.

“What are you hiding?” I ask, not a hint of dysfunctional impatience in me.

Sheepishly, she presents a pasty white, void of any meaningful nutrients, hamburger bun. With a big bite missing.

Now, to catch you up to speed, my children would eat nothing but plain bread, cereal, and granola bars if left to their own devices. I’m constantly chirping about PROTEIN! YOU NEED PROTEIN! which they begrudgingly digest only when I’m watching.

What surprised me next was my reaction.

Contrary to my historical responses to Ruthie’s lying behavior, I simply laughed, called her a stinker, and told her to get that crumby bun out of my bed.

Then I made her a fried egg to chase it down.

In the moment when rage rises inside my chest, it feels like the only reasonable response.

I’VE BEEN WRONGED! YOU LIED TO ME! YOU ARE THREATENING MY SELF-WORTH AS A PERSON IN AUTHORITY! I AM A FAILURE BECAUSE OF YOU! AND I WILL YELL AT YOU TO MAKE SURE YOU FEEL REALLY REALLY BAD ABOUT THIS!

But how peaceful my heart and home are when I take a deep breath, choose my battles wisely, say YES to more things, laugh off the minor infractions, and leave my worth in the hands of Jesus.

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