As I was cleaning my room and doing a bit of laundry this morning, I found this on the floor.
It looks very much like the dogs have been in my room, which they have, but not like you think. You see, what you are looking at is not a pile of well placed poo, but a hair scrunchie, which for some reason, my dogs love to play with.
And as I thought about how funny a scrunchie looks lying on the floor like that, I was reminded of something my friend LaDonia said to me the other night in choir. She was telling her son that we should not do stuff at home that we wouldn't do in church.
We all have things in our lives, the not so pretty things, that the people around us don't see. I had a life size example of it over last weekend. My cousin came into town, and stayed at my house. I had the house pretty well picked up. The kids were little angels. They were respectful and kind. Considerate, even. They remembered their manners and their ma'ams and sirs. I was so proud.
But lurking behind my closed bedroom door was the truth. All of the laundry that was piled up, all of the things that needed put away, were in there. I wouldn't let my cousin in there, because my lack showed the moment you opened the door. (actually, you had to push on the door pretty hard to get past the stuff piled behind it.)
And the moment company was gone, and my children had been rewarded appropriately for their good behavior, the attitudes and disobedience returned.
I grew up in the land of make believe, so it comes naturally for me. Whenever someone from church came over, we had to scurry around and stash the ashtrays. (not that anyone could miss the smell ;-) And my best friend's daddy, who was a deacon, and at whose house I spent many a night, had a problem with pornography and ended up molesting his own daughter.
*Side note* This is the reason I do not let my kids "do" sleepovers. You think you know people, but do you really? I would rather have my kids miss out on a childhood pasttime, than risk having their innocence stolen.
But what came to me in the midst of the swirling thoughts was that I am not what I seem, either. I have said it before. I am a yeller. I have a temper, and when it flares, watch out. I don't think before I speak. Tact has never been a strong suit of mine.
Why is it, that when my kids do something thoughtless, that I fly off the handle, except when I'm in public. I have no problem stifling my reaction then. So I know I can do it. And, truth be told, after I give myself time to absorb the situation, I do deal with it more calmly. So I know in my head that if I would just stifle the reaction every time, process the facts, then deal with it, I would do less harm to my kids, who are so precious to me.