If you were a fly on the wall at my house, you'd be sure to hear your share of fussing, complaining and whining. Maybe even a slammed door or two.

But enough about me.

In the pressure cooker that's parenting, I have exploded more than once. And it's harder to clean up than spaghetti night with a toddler.

So after years spent indulging in fruitless self-flogging, I finally let go of my obsession with getting it all 'just right.' I confess...I'm not a perfect parent.

Whew. That felt good.

Now, when my son saunters in with his 42nd tardy of the school year, I let it go. When I hear myself hollering "Whatever!" at my teenage daughter, I move on.

Having it all together is overrated anyway.

And I've determined not to waste God's grace. I'll never get it just right. You won't, either. So read on, sister. If you see a little of yourself in me, I hope it helps to know that you're not alone. Nope. If you're a mom, face it. You're never, ever alone.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Caught in the Act

I’m generally not a rule breaker.

And it’s a good thing.

Because, on the rare occasions when I do venture outside the white lines, I’m like a magnet for rule-enforcers.

I can be going 36mph in a 35mph zone with 20 cars whizzing past me at 60mph and who is the officer going to pull over for a ticket? Moi.

I could be in the 10 items or less lane with 11 items, while the woman behind me has her cart piled up like Mount Everest and who will the grocery police come after? That's right. Yours truly.

It happened just last week.

Micah and I were running late for school. Despite our spotty tardy track record, we have been doing brilliantly this year. I didn’t want to break our streak.

Then I remembered the “forbidden” drop-off entrance conveniently located outside of Micah’s classroom.

Do I dare? I thought.

This entrance is usually militantly patrolled to keep deviant parents from bypassing the official drop-off line.

I quickly surveyed the scene. No Coach Bob (aka “The Enforcer”). I was emboldened by several other brave souls taking advantage of this scarce opportunity.

Hmmmm…. Why not? Everybody’s doing it. (This rationale works so well for my kids.)

So I threw caution to the wind and careened into the secret entrance.

Go! Go, Micah! Hurry! Before we get caught! (You can give me my Parent of the Year award now, please.)

As I prepared to make my getaway, I saw an imposing figure coming toward me out of the corner of my eye.

Terror struck my rule-following heart.

Coach Bob was on the warpath.

I kept going and tried to avoid eye contact.

He began to run and wave his arms …”This is NOT the drop off line! You MUST use the official drop off line...!!!”

Can you say it a little louder, please? I think there may be a few parents in Japan who didn’t hear you.

I gave him a sheepish expression and a “yes, I’m completely humiliated” wave and went on my way.

Getting caught is humbling. It reminds me that I need to model respect for authority – even in the little things – if I expect my kids to do the same.

I hope my kids are like me. I want them to always be caught in the act, too. In fact, I pray for it. Regularly.

When they go off track, I want it to be revealed – quickly. And I’ve noticed that I’m often given the uncanny ability to sense when they’re being deceptive.

And I if I fail to catch them, I can only hope and pray that the “Coach Bobs” in their lives will be on vigilant patrol.


  1. I just told my daughter just a few weeks ago that if she ever chose to do something wrong (well, I'm sure that will be WHEN, not IF...but that's another comment....) that I hope she gets caught. She looked at me like I had three heads.

  2. Hilarious! I forgot that my mom used to say that too - she prayed we'd get caught! I haven't prayed that prayer for my children yet - since they are homeschooled they pretty much are always caught - they are rarely away from me!!! But someday - yes, that will have to be added to my prayer list!!! Love it - thanks!

  3. This was so funny, Melinda! You're right-- we all need to get busted by Coach Bob (aka the Holy Spirit). We NEED Him to keep us in line.

    Thanks for sharing authentically, from your heart.

  4. you are funny...love your blog! You should write a book haha :)
    If you would like come check out my site for a giveaway: littlemissheirlooms.blogspot.com

  5. oops! I am the same way! I pray that my kids aren't able to be deceptive or take short-cuts, but I do think God then makes us more accountable by blessing us as parents with the same thing we request for our kiddos!

  6. Yes, is easy to do the wrong thing but why is it harder to do the right thing? We shoul always try our best to display good behaviour at all times. Our kids immitate every single thing we do. Like yelling at each other. Where did they get that? Mom! And I learned that from my Mom. I do pray that my children will always immitate the good habits and not the bad habits.

  7. I have just written a blog post you might be interested in. Take a peek!

  8. My mom always told me that she prayed for us to get caught when we disobeyed...now as a mom I understand that prayer.

    I'm a rule follower too...and totally get this post.

  9. Oh Melinda, I could feel the shame right there with you. Only 'cause I've been there. But you know, as long as you're truly sorry, you're okay. It's when you don't care that it becomes a problem.

    Blessings dear one.

  10. I'm gonna need a Coach Bob for my son, too! LOL

  11. my gosh that was hilarious! For what it's worth, it's always me who gets caught too LOL.

  12. Love your post, Melinda -- love your honesty!

    You asked when my book comes out. It will be August 2010, and I'm redesigning my blog/site, too. Exciting stuff!

    I'll keep you updated.

  13. Love the way that you can find the humor in situations.

    Even when you're the one we're laughing about.

    Truthfully, I did something like that once.

    That's how my name got on the FBI's most-wanted list.

    Sweet dreams.

  14. Stopping by from SITS!

    I know how you feel exactly! I never break rules and when I do I get busted.

  15. This was so fun to read. I can totally relate. I agree that our children need to be caught when they are breaking the rules. Protecting them from their negative consequences to poor choices doesn't protect them at all! Great post!

  16. Stopping by from SITS. Hope you are enjoying the Saturday Sharefest with our SITas.

    I think I'll hang around your blog. We see share a lot of the same interests. And seems that God is showing us the same things.

  17. Can relate! & had fun reading your blog today! I am a new blogger & feel like I am spying into everyones lives...I like it :) Thanks for giving me a peek into your family!

  18. too funny I'm sure my day will come when I break the rules because I'm running late!


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