Yesterday I had a mom moment. After hours of begging me I finally gave in and took two boys to the pharmacy on the corner as a prize for finishing all their homework. One of them actually had pesos to spend and therefore picked out two bags of chips. I watched him check out and then paid for the two Cokes I was buying. When it was time to leave they both jumped in the back seat ... I thought that was a bit strange but whatever. They giggled and whispered all the way home... again... strange. I was already suspicious when I found them in the bathroom... again giggling. It was then that I looked at the bag holding the chips and noticed a pack of gum. We definitely didn't pay for that.
They had stolen the pack of gum! To say I was a little upset would be an understatement. Almost immediately they folded and admitted to stealing the gum. "But it's just a pack of gum" they whined. Well you know what I did?? With all the Spanish skills I could muster I marched them right back out the car. All the way to the pharmacy they argued and whined about how it wasn't a big deal. One of them literally opened the door while I was driving and yelled "I'm going to escape!". He made it about 5 steps before I managed to get out enough angry words to get him back in the car. When we parked at the pharmacy he got out of the car and ran down the street the opposite way. But I stood my ground and we finally walked back into the pharmacy.
"I'm sorry. Will you please forgive me?" They each said as they passed the gum to the cashier. She smiled and tried to hold in a laugh before assuming a very serious face and saying "yes, thank you".
We got back in the car and on the short drive home processed how that felt and talked aaalllllll about how they are prince's of the Lord and that is not how prince's of the Lord act. I think I even used the line... "I'm mad... but even more than that.. I'm really disappointed. That isn't who you are, you're better than that."
I felt like such a mom!
At the end of the day, I pray they heard what I was trying to say. Yes I was mad at them, but I still love them even when I'm mad. Yes they did something wrong... but that isn't who they are. My goal is always to separate the action from their identity. I know that's how God deals with us. He doesn't see me as my actions, but instead sees me as the pure and holy identity he gave me when Christ died on the cross for my sins. When I sin, it's because I have acted outside of that identity that God has given me. Instead of tearing us down and viewing us as our mess ups he shows us our identity and calls us into that. This is what I hope those sweet boys learned today. Even with my broken Spanish and slightly raised voice, I hope they still heard and felt the love that came with the correction.
And let's be honest... I also hope they have learned to never ever steal anything ever again :)