Parenting is tough. And I hear it never gets any easier.
It’s easy to feel like a failure, too. Like all of the effort you pour into the work, all of the love you give, all of the consistency in discipline, all of the enforcing bedtimes and pointing your children to God is worthless. Especially when you have friends over and your child is the heathen child of the bunch that runs his Power Wheels into the back of another, smaller kid’s Power Wheels…twice.
But just last week, we opened fortune cookies together after a particularly delicious meal at one of our favorite Chinese restaurants. He hadn’t eaten a huge dinner, but of course, he had room for a fortune cookie (or two). I asked him to read his to me.
(bear in mind…he’s 3. Which makes “fortune cookie time” rather interesting.) What he “read” I’ll never forget.
“What does yours say, Rex?”
“It says, ‘We have to go to church and to small group.” Before you jump to conclusions that I’ve raised a legalistic Pharisee, let me translate that for you: “I like to go to church on Sundays, and I like mommy and daddy’s small group. Can we go to either one now?”
That’s one of my prayers for him. That my son would grow up enjoying Sunday mornings. That being the son of a pastor wouldn’t burn him. That he wouldn’t look back with disdain on the evenings when my wife and I attended small group. That he would catch just how vital relationships are to his spiritual growth. That ministering and serving and worshipping on Sunday mornings would be a well of joy in his life.
Did he say all of that in his “reading” of the fortune cookie. Probably not. But don’t ruin it for me. Let me think that’s what he meant.
That’s one of those moments I’m going to tuck away in my back pocket on the days when my parenting seems to be a flop. On the days when I look at other parents and wish I were more like them. On the days when my child is the heathen, I’ll lock back in to this fortune cookie.
Fortune cookie moments are rare in any parenting’s life. But they’re a diamond worth holding on to.
What “fortune cookie” do you hold on to in parenting?