Here was my post the other morning:
We should make decisions for our kids' good, not their comfort. (And come to find out, not for OUR comfort either.)
I spent the morning asking reading comprehension questions to Selah while trying to make a birthday cake for Kesed. He turned 5 this week. I think some crack fell into my coffee because I decided to do a layered cake with all these different colors and sprinkles and frosting and pride. Selah and I ended up piecing the blasted cake together because certainly I can't just take a cake out of the pan and it actually stay together. That's what frosting is for. To hide the imperfections. Frosting does the exact opposite to the imperfections on my thighs.
This is an enormous cake because we were supposed to bring it to his school the next morning to share with his classmates. There are 35 kids in his class. Upon seeing the cake his first words were, "I wanted a circle cake."
Breathe, breathe, get husband so that you don't punch a hole through your concrete wall.
We sat him down and talked to him about being grateful. We talked to him to make sure he understood that this cake included lots of the things he said he wanted on his cake.
Crying, he eeks out, "But Mommy I wanted a circle cake."
Trying to be a good mom, my inner monologue cowers out in song. I sing things like: "I am sitting in the morning at the diner on the corner. Da da da daaa, da da da daaa."
After one more good talking to, he still says he wants a circle cake. Stubbornness is one of the lovely spiritual gifts doled out to this child in the creation line. We knew what we had to do. He had to lose the cake. We told him that we weren't going to bring the cake to school and have a party with his friends the next day.
This was really hard for me. I had spent a lot of time on it. The cake was huge and I knew lots would go to waste even if we shared it with friends. Here's where the "this is for his good, not his comfort (or mine)" part comes in. I was reminded that I need to be more concerned with his heart's condition, not a cake. He needs to know that to be discontent about a cake is not ok. He needs to know that he can't control every living creature that dares to cross his path.
He had a cakeless birthday celebration at school, which is pretty much the only thing they do to celebrate that student's birthday...eat cake. I had to explain to the teacher why he had no cake when I told her the day before I would bring one by at 9:30. She did not understand because we live in a place where the kids get whatever they want. All.the.time. While the statement hurt, it is still true:
We should make decisions for our kids' good, not their comfort.
(As an epilogue to this wonderful moment, he later told me very calmly that next year...he would like to have a circle cake.)
Lord help us as parents.