Press On and Keep Parenting
By Debra Torres
Out of the early morning mist the deer bounded swiftly across the road far in front of our car. And I told my husband to watch so he wouldn’t miss its beauty.
But my appreciation quickly turned to alarm as I saw that the deer wasn’t alone.
Two twin fawns trailed her, and the mother obviously hadn’t factored in the extra time it would take for their little legs to get across the road.
Oncoming traffic was rapidly approaching and was almost upon the two little creatures when a car swerved and one fawn slipped and hit the pavement hard.
In a panic, the young animal wriggled itself up and quickly retreated back to the side of the road where it came from, joining its bewildered sibling.
As we drove past the two, I watched the deer standing together in a churchyard, I’m sure they were clueless about their next move. With mom on the other side of busy morning traffic, what were they going to do now?
And I couldn't help but think the near accident was all the mother's fault.
She should have had better timing.
She should have taken into consideration the speed of the oncoming traffic.
She should have ...
Yeah, I get that she's only a deer, but she's a parent and well, her plan to cross the road during rush hour could have ended in real tragedy.
Yesterday, my kids and I were leaving the library when I saw something not quite right in a parked SUV.
A curly little head bobbed just above the dash in the front seat alone in the vehicle with all its windows up.
Now the scene would have been bad enough in a cooler month, but in the middle of August, things can get deadly in a hot car fast.
Granted it was closer to evening and temperatures weren’t quite as high, but it was still warm outside. Angrily, I marched back into the building to alert a librarian.
Now I could go on and on about the parent fails I've seen, but truth be told, I've had my share of my own.
In fact the brevity of parental responsibility hit me hard the day my daughter had her bicycle accident.
She wasn't feeling well, but I encouraged her to press on. You can't imagine the number of times I've replayed her face hitting the pavement as she fainted going downhill.
Or the time there was a mix up, and my son was mistakenly left at the baseball field. His shaky voice coming over a borrowed cell phone, "Mom ... are you coming to get me?"
We all have moments we fail and maybe make us feel like the worst parent out there, but I think what separates us is what we do after a fail.
Do we give up and throw in the towel? Or, do we ask for forgiveness and press on?
Paul talks about life like running a distance race, and I think parenting might be similar. Because it's way more like running a marathon than a sprint.
I know a couple that decided not have children because they were afraid their kids would turn out bad in this awful world.
I've always thought they made a huge mistake. Can you imagine if God had started out with the same perspective when He created man?
A friend and I were sharing stories about our children the other day. She's a dedicated mom, and I know she cares a lot for her daughter.
At one point though, my friend shared about a mistake she made in her parenting.
"I've blown it," she said shaking her head.
But you know, I wasn't too concerned about my friend. I had a feeling she would learn from her mistake and do like Paul suggests and stay in the race.
So if you've had a "deadbeat" parent moment like most of us, ask for forgiveness and press on.
Jesus can help you finish and finish strong.
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