Raising kids is a rollercoaster.  They have their moments where you just burst with pride.  When you think I don’t know how he got to be so awesome, but that’s my kid.  I know I have nothing to do with how good he can be.  I’m a disaster as a parent.  Though when I say that I also realize I focus on all the things I do wrong, not on the things I do right, and I know I could be a whole lot worse.  But I could be a whole lot better too.  Usually in the same day that I swell with pride over something astounding, something happens that makes me question all that I have been doing as a parent.  Yep, when he’s good it’s miraculous, when he’s bad it’s all my fault.  And I know that isn’t true either.  He’s a kid, and kids are human, therefore they sin.  Or she’s a kid, Clara can have her days too.

Yesterday was Clara’s day, but I can explain her behavior.  And she wasn’t bad, just very, very, very upset.  Yesterday was the first day since the day Chase left we went into his building.  She so young, she doesn’t quite understand what’s going on.  The first time we went on base after Chase left, she thought we were picking him back up.  Tantrums followed.  Then we went to the commissary and saw men in uniform.  And at less than three feet high, all uniforms look alike, so she thought she saw Daddy all over the place.  Tantrums followed.  Yesterday we went to “Daddy’s house” but did not see Daddy.  So naturally, tantrums followed.  But then, she was a perfect angel at bedtime.  Giving no fuss at all over any part of the nighttime routine.  And I had been all prepared for some good fights, knowing that she was already upset.  You know the I don’t want to wash my face fight, the I don’t like getting my hair rinsed fight, or the I don’t wanna get out of the tub and put my tub toys away fight, or even the simple I don’t wanna go to bed fight.  On bad days that last one always has her calling for Daddy and then Xavier (really anyone but mean old mommy).  But no, she was a sweet and wonderful princess.

Today was Xavier’s day.  Now, it wasn’t as bad as I originally thought, but there are still some things that make me go hmmmm.  In Sunday School another child accused him of pushing and taunting.  Being the mom that I am I got Xavier right away.  We were going to find out what went on.  I hope I know my child better than to think that he’d do that, there had to be an explanation.  I promise that when I called him over I was giving him the benefit of the doubt.  However, I know my child.  Part of me wants to say that I’ve also watched Lie to Me and have picked up on deception cues, but really, I’ve just been around this kid long enough to know when he’s hiding something.  I’m very fortunate that he still can’t do it well.  And when questioned about this morning, he was hiding something he didn’t want to talk about.  So I assumed the accusation was correct.  Further investigation shows that the other child misspoke.  Ohhhh, I get upset when people make false accusations.  It’s higher up on my crime meter than hiding stuff from your mother.  And Xavier was really just trying to hide a bad attitude about losing.  Why, one might ask, would he hide that?  Number 1, he’s trying to hide anything he’s doing lately that is less than perfect.  I could get into the issues of why he’s doing that, particularly now.  He’s the first child, with a serious case of wanting to please the parents.  He’s also got DNA from both Chase and I and has inherited both of our tendencies to not let people down.  With his dad gone, he feels the responsibility of being the “man” of the house, and part of being the “man” is helping and contributing and not causing problems.  Number 2, we are having poor sport issues.  He’s never lost gracefully, so he knows that his tendency to be a poor loser is gonna at the very least get a great big sigh from me.  But it all boils down to he wasn’t completely honest with me.  And what am I supposed to do with that?  But then when we are driving home from lunch he reads the Bible to his brother to help Austin learn about God and David (who Austin learned about in Sunday School).  I can’t believe how much that child loves to read the Bible.  And I know that my child can’t be on the wrong track when he has such a love for God’s Word.  He may stumble at times, but he’s a son of Adam, stumbling is part of the package.

And Austin, oh my Austin.  At least with Xavier and Clara’s ups and downs I understand them.  I know what motivates them.  Austin was pouty most of the afternoon, but I don’t know why.  At one point he claimed to be pouty because Xavier got a green straw and he didn’t.  And I’m searching for something more, but according to him, that’s all, it’s all about the green straw.  So the question of the day is, is straw color really that important to him, or is there something more going on?  I’m thinking the later, but mostly because I’d hate to think it was really the former.  I mean straw color, really.  I’ve had my moments where something akin to the color of my straw would set me off, but there is always something deeper bothering me.  But I just can’t get into that little man’s head to know for sure.  And here I also worry that the fact that I don’t “get” him and I do “get” his brother and sister will someday put a wedge in between us.  You hear the stories of the kid that didn’t fit in with his family and then does all sorts of stupid things because he felt like an outcast growing up.  That’s the last thing I want for my wonderful little Austin.  And I’m sure that today, we will have our top of the rollercoaster moment.  He’s such a funny and loving little guy, his general funk can’t last all day.  But as of right now he’s having a day that an orange straw can bring tears, and even being compared to King David doesn’t lift him out of the dooldrums.