Monday, October 26, 2015

Pillow Talk

Written By: Sally

The other night I was tucking Gunner into bed at the end of a looong day. Zack was out of town and I was feeling overwhelmed all day. Just constantly on edge and quick to snap at Gunner. There was a lot more tears, and a lot more yelling than I would like to admit. I'm not normally a yeller, but I lost my cool on several occasions that day. Gunner played his part as well. Aside from normal two year antics that drive me up the wall, he was missing his dad. He is a daddy's boy through and through and has a hard time when Zack is gone. Suffice to say, it was a gloomy day around our house.

Clearly, he has mastered the pout.
So as I was tucking Gunner into bed, we read a scripture story and I sang him songs as usual. We were snuggled up in his bed and my love for him just began to overflow. I could have squeezed the life out of him. Tears welled up in my eyes because I was looking at this precious little boy who is literally a piece of my soul. All day, in all my anxiety, I hadn't stopped to admire him and remember how fearfully and wonderfully made he is. 

As my love was overflowing, my guilt was getting heavier and heavier. I wasted an entire day being frustrated with him. A whole day! It was a whole day that we will never get back. I could have spent the day playing with him and moving at his pace. We could have made up silly songs and laughed more. But instead I let my stress and poor attitude get the best of me. That's just not fair to Gunner. He deserves better. 

So, I squeezed him really tight. Like so tight he started to gasp. And I kissed those squishy little cheeks and said I'm sorry. I said, "I'm sorry I got mad at you today Gunner. I'm sorry I yelled. I really don't like to yell. It makes me sad when I yell. I'll do better tomorrow. I love you my sweet Gunner" He didn't say anything. He just looked at me and gave me his tightest squeeze. 

We went back to talking about picking pumpkins and his favorite stuffed animals and all the other things on his wonderful, curious mind. When it was time for final good night kisses I hugged him tight again and told him I loved him. Then, he whispered in my ear, "I sorry mommy." I was really taken aback. "For what?" I asked. "For making naughty choice today." 

My heart broke and soared at the same time. I was sad that he was feeling sad, and that I had gotten mad at him. But that apology was completely unsolicited, and unprecedented. He has said sorry before. But never without our prompting. This time, he knew he hadn't been a good listener, and he was genuinely sorry. He knew that he made some choices today that made me sad, and he was genuinely sorry. How grown up of him. I couldn't believe it. I was so humbled. 

When I apologized to him, I just wanted him to know that I was going to do better tomorrow. I was not trying to get an apology out of him. But I think what he saw was that it's okay to admit when we do something wrong. And it makes people feel better when we say we're sorry. My apology helped him to feel better and I think he wanted to make me feel better with his. 

I get so wrapped up in being his mom and trying to be right all the time. But what I really want to teach him is so much more than just to be obedient and to do what I tell him. I want him to learn to make those choices on his own. Admitting that I'm wrong doesn't make him think less of me. It organically teaches him how to handle himself when he's in a similar situation. 

How many other things am I trying to teach him that he just doesn't get because I'm saying them and not doing them? They say the best way to teach is by example. But, that is so much more than imitating the proper behavior for our kids. To truly teach by example, we must be living it. We should always be striving to be the person we want our children follow. 

For me, there is no greater teacher, leader, or example than our Savior Jesus Christ. As we strive to live more like Him, our children will learn from us, how to follow Him. So after all the yelling and meltdowns and moments I'm not proud of, I'm going to consider that day a success because we both learned something really important and we're going to do better tomorrow. 

Pictures by Dianne Shumway


  1. This was totally speaking to my momma heart today. Totally lost it over dumb things just because my life is a little chaotic right now. So grateful to have a reminder that we get to choose how we act over each situation. It really is a choice. <3

    1. I totally agree. I have to remind myself of that all the time. Getting mad is a choice, just as much as being happy is a choice.