The bathing suit battle had been simmering for some time.
Summer just turned up the heat.
The first shot was fired in May with these six little words: “Mom, I need a new swimsuit.”
On its surface, that one innocuous statement shouldn’t incite violence.
In a “perfect” world, Molly and I would skip on down to Marshall’s, find a wide array of tasteful swimsuits to choose from and amicably decide on a style and price that’s acceptable to both of us.
Instead, our summer shopping exchange went something like this:
Me: How ‘bout this one?
Molly: That’s really nice, Mom … for a three year old! (with accompanying eye rolling and deep sigh)
Molly: Can I try this one on? (holding up two pieces of cloth, visible only by microscope)
Me: That’d be great, Molly … maybe when you're a TWENTY-three year old!
Molly: Okay, well what do you want me to wear, Mom, THIS???!!! (holds up granny-style, one-piece bathing suit.)
Actually, Molly, this is more what I had in mind ….
Now, just try and tell me that won’t attract some attention.
After much drama and discussion, we finally settled on a compromise: A two-piece with boy shorts.
It wasn’t exactly what she wanted and it wasn’t exactly what I wanted, but it WAS something we could both live with …
A declaration of peace was reached. We'd both live to fight another day.
The perfectionist that still lurks within me wants things black and white. Neat and tidy. All or nothing. I’ve found that doesn’t always work in parenting – especially as Molly has hit adolescence. The more I can see things from her point of view, the better our relationship and communication.
Sometimes negotiation isn’t possible. I must win the battle.
On the other hand, compromise isn’t always retreat.
Knowing the difference can be impossibly tricky.
It takes wisdom. More than I’ve got.
But when I ask for God’s wisdom, He always meets me on the battlefield – even when it’s in the middle of the swimsuit aisle.
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. James 1:5 (New Living Translation)