Earlier this month, our church held it's semi-annual general conference. Twice yearly, the leaders of our church broadcast messages via sattelite- for us this means that we gather at my parents for pancakes, gummi bear conference bingo, and we get to enjoy church in our jammies. There's usually one or two talks the feel like they're aimed directly at me. I know that for many other moms, this year that talk was the one that referenced "Parenting 505." In this talk, Lynn G. Robbins said:
"A sweet and obedient child will enroll a father or mother only in Parenting 101. If you are blessed with a child who tests your patience to the nth degree, you will be enrolled in Parenting 505. Rather than wonder what you might have done wrong in the premortal life to be so deserving, you might consider the more challenging child a blessing and opportunity to become more godlike yourself. With which child will your patience, long-suffering, and other Christlike virtues most likely be tested, developed, and refined? Could it be possible that you need this child as much as this child needs you? "
This talk has been on my mind frequently since it was given. Stinky has been a Parenting 505 kid this year in particular. Then I think about it more, and I don't know a single parent who doesn't feel like they're muddling their way through 505, even those whose children are adults now.
Most days, I feel so blessed that I get to be a mother, and specifically, Stinky and Rotten's mother. I watch our family and other families, see how their dynamics work, and I think about how they work with the personalities their children came with, and how each child seems to be so perfectly placed within their families- I don't know how anyone can fail to see a Divine Hand in that.
When I think about the way that my boys have shaped me- like putting a rock through a tumbler, polishing me by rolling me around in a mess of sometimes abrasive circumstances- I know that they were meant to be our children, and WBH and I meant to be their parents. I reject the idea that our family is mere coincidence. The gravity of knowing that makes the responsibility that much more fantastic and real to me.