Some days with your children are just Golden. Caleb, Elise and I met friends at the park and Caleb played beautifully. Except for throwing dirt at another kid. He said he was defending his castle--boys and their castles. But he did go right over and apologize, and I actually heard a twinge of remorse in his voice.
For the most part Caleb obeyed and obeyed happily. When he spilled his milk (and I got mad and beat my fist on the table like a two year old) Caleb said, "I'm sorry mom, I'll clean it up." And he got the handi-wipes and cleaned up everything that spilled on the floor. Then I said I'd take the towels back to the sink, feeling guilty about having just lost it over spilt milk. But Caleb said, "No, I'll do it" And he gathered all the towels (mine too) and took them to the sink.
Before bedtime Caleb put all his toys away, helped me put Elise's toys away, and when I told him I'd read him a book, he got the most excited look on his face. "You'll read me a book!"
Here is our discussion last night after we read the Incredibles
(well, as much as I can recall.)
Mom, I obeyed today.
Yes you did.
That makes me perfect!
This is not the first conversation we have had about being perfect. It is a little bit disturbing for a four year old to obsess about being perfect. Can be a little annoying as well.
For some reason I keep thinking of Ben Franklin's autobiography where he has a list of character traits that he is trying to develop within himself (literally a self-help book), and he finds that he needs to include humility on the list. But he decides that he can only feign humility if he develops everything else on the list. People point to Ben Franklin's autobiography as this great book of wisdom and understanding about developing character, but really Ben Franklin was a politician at heart (he insisted upon carrying his paper in a wheel barrow through town so that people would see him hard at work--such a poser!) and at times certainly did lack humility.
Of course, don't we all.
Where was I,
I might have finally found a way to talk about it with Caleb.
Well, yes when you obey you are letting God make you perfect. When you play with Elise and you both laugh, you are letting God make you perfect. You are letting God make you like Jesus.
But when I push her down and trip her I'm not perfect?
No, you are not letting God make you perfect. God is still making me perfect, but sometimes I don't let him either. Like when I hit the table with my fist because you spilled your milk--I was not letting God make me perfect.
It takes a long time for God to make us perfect.