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 6, 2009

Mom Detective: Fighting Time

Crime fighting is not in my job description.

Recently however, my son’s obsession with Encyclopedia Brown has forced me into serious Columbo territory.

Nancy Drew ain’t got nothin’ on me.

If you’re unfamiliar, Encyclopedia Brown is a 1960s series of books centering on a boy detective who unravels mysteries. Each case invites the reader to solve the case.

Over the last week, my son has read eight of these books. Correction. We have read eight of these books.

Everyday, on the way to school, Micah reads them to me. And then he asks me if I can guess the true criminal.

So there’s no fudging on this one. Can’t just “pretend” I’m listening. Or at the end of the story, I’ll be the one who’s found out.

And sometimes, quite frankly, it’s not easy to be engaged. My mind is always in “to do” list mode, ticking off the next items that require my attention. Morning tensions sometimes nearly drive me to be the perpetrator of a crime.

Last week, after a particularly difficult morning, I was exasperated and definitely in no mood to be Encyclopedia’s trusty sidekick.

Micah: Okay, Mom, I’m going to read you more Encyclopedia Brown.

Me: Micah, for just ten minutes, can I please not be required to solve a stinkin’ mystery?!

Later, I remembered that, before I know it, Micah will be the mystery. Just like his sister before him, he will begin to slowly pull away. In a few short years, I’ll have to play detective to discern his thoughts, uncover his interests and decipher clues to his activities.

And I’ll long for the days of a little boy who wants me to be his partner in ridding the world of crime.

Yep, what I really am is a time fighter. Fighting the tick of the clock that will bring his inevitable march toward adolescent independence.

It’s a battle I’ll lose. I can’t stop this natural and necessary progression of childhood.

In the meantime, I'll gladly don my trenchcoat and solve the next whodunit.


  1. Cute post Melinda! Enjoy Micah's boyish adventures now while it lasts because, yes...he will get older and not desire to share those exciting adventures with you so readily. How did your Mom/Daughter group go last week? Did the girls like the song??? I'm no longer a girl but definately can identify with that song on many levels...speaks to girls at all ages and stages.
    Continuing to pray for you and your girl :)

  2. you know, i must say, I know that i have a wonderful career waiting for me as a Detective after I am finished this stay at home mom gig.

    ;) cute post!

  3. I am not looking forward to when mine pull away...and you're right...we need to savor the time we have instead of rushing it.

  4. Hi Bethany!
    The Mom/Daughter group is going about as well as can be expected. The moms are still more excited than the girls, but almost everyone who came the first week came back ...so that's a good sign.

    We ran out of time for the song ... but I plan to use it in a later week. Maybe in our wrap-up week. I think it is so powerful and appropriate!

    Thanks so much for your prayers ... we need them badly. Rough, rough stage for mom and daughter. ;0)

  5. I think something was in the water this week! You're right, we need to savor each stage b/c it goes by so fast!

  6. I used to LOVE those books when I was little!! :)

  7. I remember those books. Good books. Chloi is only five and she is already pulling away. It sucks. Thanks for commenting on my latest review. I'm in Florida too. But some places keep the air down so low it's nice to have something available.

  8. I am just amazed how God uses your posts to talk to me. Thanks for using the talent God has given you to give us a lesson in motherhood. I actually try to take the time to interact with my children as much as possible, I sure wish husband did the same thing. But I am praying for him to see the benefits in spending time with our children, reading and helping them with homework.

  9. Enjoy your time, and so good of you to recognize that truth. I'm sure you are an excellent detective! (With your daughter, too.)

    Made me smile. Thanks

  10. It's always good to remember how quickly time passes.

    My little man is still pretty young (2.5), but I can already see how quickly the years slip by.

    Good luck solving those mysteries.

  11. It makes me so sad to think that those days are coming.
    Your relationship with your son and the time you spend with him reminds me of my time with my mom--we used to drink hot tea and watch Gilmore Girls together every Tuesday, and other things the other nights. It gave us time to reconnect and something we shared. Even though your relationship with your son will change with time I hope the two of you always remain close.
    And thanks for stopping by my blog! It means a lot.

  12. Good reminder. My daughter loves Encyclopedia Brown too. Thank you for the re-focus on how short our time with our kids is. :O)

  13. Nothing is more important than trying to figure out whodunit.

    When it's your darlin' boy giving you the clues.

    Enjoy him, sweetie.

    While he lets you.

    Miss you!

    Sweet dreams.


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