Monday, October 21, 2013

// like mother like son

Oh. My. Gosh. 
I say "oh my gosh" all the time. 
It's news to me. I really had no idea I said it so much.
I guess it is something that I say so often that my son picked up on it. 

He started saying "oh my gosh" when he was frustrated, upset, bothered, surprised, etc.

When I noticed this little habit of his, I thought it was inappropriate so I corrected him.
I asked him not to say "oh my gosh" and instead to say "oh goodness" or "oh my."
It worked. He stopped and replaced the phrase. 

It felt like a success. A little shining star in my parenting skill chart.

But then... Jake started correcting m e .
Whenever I say "oh my gosh"(which is very often) he reminds me: "No mommy. No my gosh!"
It's cute. It's funny. It's eye-opening.

At first I thought that he was being fresh 
but then I realized that he had picked up his previous habit of saying "oh my gosh" from me.
Eyeballs. Wide. Open. 

I felt guilty for correcting him and that feeling of parental victory went away quickly.

Ever since Jake pointed it out, I've been trying to avoid saying that short phrase. 
Sometimes I forget but, if he's around, you can be sure Jake reminds me that I'm not supposed to.
It's a work in progress and he's so patient with me. Much more patient than I was with him. 

This interaction with my son has showed me a few things.
One of them being how much he picks up on and that he will imitate me and my husband. 
He sees the good and the bad and will go on to do the same. 
He sees our behavior and our reactions. He imitates our character. 
That frightens me a little. 

It's a minor thing, in my opinion. "Oh my gosh."
It's a phrase that we managed to quickly eliminate or at least control in his vocabulary.
But all of this fits into a bigger picture.
A picture in which HE is teaching ME to be a better person. 
Isn't it supposed to go the other way around?

Every time he corrects me I feel a rush of two things.
Humility... because a three-year-old is calling me on to be a better person, a better Christian who is able to better control her speech
Encouragement... because I must improve myself in order for him (and his sister) to see the best example of a mother that they can see.

I've always tried to be a better person for their sake. I've known in the back of my mind, and sometimes in the forefront, that I need to search for self-improvement for their sake if not for mine.

It's h u m i l i t y, though, that simply g e t s me. 
It's so hard to say "I'm sorry, Jake. You're right. Mommy shouldn't say that."
It takes all of the little humility that I have to be able to say those words 
especially because that little boy won't know the difference between repentance or the lack thereof. 

Yet, I make myself say it. I say it so that I can grow in humility, even if a bit begrudgingly, and for him to witness the example of a mom who tries to amend her faults and is able to say "I'm sorry" when it's necessary.

It's an opportunity for us to show him that:
Yes. Mommy and Daddy aren't perfect.
But we believe in a God who is. And that God had a Son who lived here on Earth. 
That Son is perfect and so we try to be like him every day.
You shouldn't try to be like Mom and Dad. You should try to be like Jesus. 
That's why we say sorry. That's why we try to change our behavior. That's why we strive to do good.
Everyday. So we can be like Him and someday be with Him.   

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